Stop and thank God for being present with you today. Ask for God’s guidance as you hear God’s voice through scripture and the writer.
Thessalonians 1:1-4 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring.
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
To this end we always pray for you, asking that our God will make you worthy of his call and will fulfill by his power every good resolve and work of faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I love the beginning of all of Paul’s letters. It doesn’t matter how angry he is with the situations at the church, he always says something good about them, some more than others. This second letter to the Thessalonians is one of the kinder one—your faith is growing abundantly, your love for one another is increasing, and your faith and steadfastness in the face of adversity is great.
It reminds me of the signs that are catching on in various areas: Just Be Kind. We have one in front of our house and here at work. I have a t-shirt and am getting another one soon. Several people were even giving bracelets out at General Assembly this year. It seems like such a simple message that whether we like it or not is not just limited to Christianity. It is a simple message and yet so hard for some to follow.
And then Paul goes on saying that even though this is true, he still prays for them to be worthy of God’s call and their ministries blessed. All this to glorify the name of Jesus Christ. Paul ends verse 12 by saying that all this is possible through the grace of God and Jesus Christ. This is the key to the whole thing—grace.
I think at times we take the grace given to us from God for granted. We either say “We are saved by grace so anything I do will be covered by that grace” or “Why should I give grace to that person” when we receive it so freely from God or even “We only got the grace because we are such good people.” Let’s hope that this week we can look to all people and say that we can show grace to them because we know how it feels to receive it.
God of grace and glory pour your power on us to be your people, to be worthy of your call and to be faithful and steadfast in all situations. May we always strive to leave a legacy like the Thessalonians. Amen.
Go with God!