Thursday, September 13, 2012

260 in 2012 DEVOS - Day 184 - 1 Thessalonians 2: Relationship: A Key Role in Discipleship!

Relationship is not necessarily key in sharing our faith, since often times we can share with strangers. BUT when it comes to discipleship, relationship is vital! As we read today’s passage, we see the deep relationship that Paul & his companions had with the believers in Thessalonica. I’ll divide it up into three sections: FIRST – How Paul & his companions brought the Gospel to them. Paul took risks in sharing Jesus with them. They didn’t use trickery, flattery or impure motives but sought to make God happy by telling them about Jesus! Verses 7-8 are precious: “but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.” Paul poured his heart & soul into these people for THE Cause (Knowing Jesus & making Him Known) – that they might turn around and do the same! He encouraged, comforted and urged them to live lives worthy of God! SECOND – How the Thessalonicans received the message. It’s easy to be impressed with preachers and speakers who are funny, insightful and passionate. Not necessarily bad, but we need to remember when the Bible is spoken it is coming straight from GOD! That’s how the Thessalonicans saw it. They received it, became imitators of God’s people and suffered as well. THIRD – How Paul longed to be with them again. When Paul had to leave these believers it was like leaving close family and when he had tried to return, somehow Satan stopped him. Then he says something very cool about them: “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.” Whoah – how cool is that?! SO WHAT?! *How are you and I bringing the Gospel to our circles of influence? Ask God for opportunities. Look for them and them follow the Holy Spirit and bring God up. My son Drew even did that this week. You can read about it here. *When you hear a Bible message, do you take it as from God? I am thankful for all the great preachers, teachers and mentors I have in the Lord but I regularly need to remind myself it is GOD’S WORD I need to be most impressed with! *Do you like hanging out with fellow believers? That IS what we will do in heaven! And what a blessing it is to get a “foretaste of glory divine” here on earth! Spend some time with some fellow believers this week!

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