Paul Wasn't on Facebook
Eternal God, I want to live for You, unashamed and undistracted. Open my eyes to You now, I pray.
Read 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Which of the qualities in verse 3 do you most wish to see developed in your life now?
We live in such an interconnected world that it is hard to remember that for most of human history contact and information across distances was rare and costly. Paul waited for months to hear what had happened to the group of believers that he had hastily left in Thessalonica. He could not gain news at the press of a button and had to sacrifice the companionship of his friends so that they could travel back to the church. Our ease of communication means that we have a harder task of distinguishing what is really important from what is merely interesting. It means that if we aren’t careful, our prayer lives can become full of trivia.
Paul knows that what is really important is the state of the Thessalonian believers. He can thank God that their conversion was real. This was evidenced by their response to the message that was preached to them. They had turned from their idols and their faith had become a talking point throughout Greece. They were laboring in love and were willing to endure suffering with joy in the Lord. Their lives had become oriented away from short-term concerns; thus, they had become people who lived in the light of the Lord’s coming.
As we reflect on Paul’s concerns for the Thessalonians, we may consider what interests us about what is happening in the lives of our friends and fellow church members. Could we give as encouraging a report? Do we know more about their social situation than their spiritual state? Are our prayers for them, and our ministry to them, as directed as Paul’s so that their faith might also become a talking point throughout the area? Above all, maybe we need to ask what signs of true conversion we see in the lives of those who are joining our church.
Sensitively ask one of your close friends about their spiritual lives so that you can pray for them regularly and specifically, also.
Father God, I am nervous when I think of myself as a model of faith to others. Help me to focus on You and use me however You choose.
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