Category Archives: 1 Thessalonians

October 25 – Unmerited Favor and Blessing

Here are a few bumper sticker exhortations from Paul: Live in peace. Warn the idle. Encourage the timid. Help the weak. Be patient. Be kind. Be joyful. Be prayerful. Be thankful. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid evil. Actually those would take a pretty big bumper and it might be a bit overwhelming to try to apply all of them at once. Paul knew this and he reminded his readers that God Himself is faithful and it is God who will bring about all of these needed life changes, and then some. Deliberately living for our Heavenly Father will reshape us as we become more aware of the difference between a selfish self and a holy God. God is trustworthy to lead us as we pursue Him.

It is easy to skim over Paul’s conclusion to his letter and miss the weight of it.The grace (the unmerited favor and blessings) of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) be with you all. Amen, (so be it).” God, through Jesus and with the written word of Paul’s letter, is offering grace, undeserved mercy, to us. Years ago I learned a helpful acronym and hopefully it helps you to also make clear this concept of grace. GRACE can be described as God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. This extended grace is not free, it cost Jesus His life. Jesus chose to obediently lay down His life so we could live. May we be attentive to God’s Presence, His favor and blessing in our lives today as we seek to live like Him and for Him. Our Father, as we become increasingly aware of Your goodness and Your greatness, please help us to break (put to death) our old habits that do not lead to peace, kindness, joy. I pray we would avoid evil every chance we get, and thankfully and prayerfully turn to You who have so richly blessed us with new life through Your Son Jesus. Thank You for grace.   Amen.

1 Thessalonians 5:28 AMP

October 24 – Glorious Blessedness yet to Come

Paul’s goal was to establish new churches and train people to grow up in the character of Christ. He was on the go, traveling here and there, increasing the awareness of Jesus to all who would hear. But as busy as his days got, he still took the time to further counsel and encourage those at the newly established churches through his letters. Paul was thankful for the faith of the Thessalonians and he recognized that faith, hope and love were a part of their lives. Paul then continued to build up the believers at Thessalonica: “…live lives worthy of God, Who calls you into His own kingdom and the glorious blessedness [into which true believers will enter after Christ’s return].” Paul does not want them, or us, to forget the eternal perspective even when suffering and hard times come.

Ruth, a believer among a people group that is beginning to hearing the gospel, is a wonderful example to me of someone who chooses to live worthy in spite of real hardships. Her persecution as a follower of Jesus Christ has been from the government, from village neighbors and even from her own family. Ruth is an integral part of a team that works diligently to translate the Bible into her language. In her joyful expression of living for God, she has turned many truths of God’s Story into songs. As she faithfully teaches and sings from village to village, God’s Kingdom is made bigger. We were blessed to hear her sing Paul’s Thessalonian letters as she strummed her guitar in her humble home during Christmas of 2007. This sister understands what Paul wrote concerning the return of Jesus. Right now she experiences joy mixed with pain, but she knows there is a blessedness that is yet to come that will be glorious.

1 Thessalonians 2:12 AMP