DATE POSTED: Wednesday, 2023-03-22
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Thessalonians 2:13-15
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)
BIBLE TEXT: 13 ….. We cannot help but thank God for you at all times, because from the beginning He handpicked you for salvation through the Spirit’s sanctifying work and your belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this when we shared our good news with you. Now you can take part in the glory of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King. 15 So, brothers and sisters, all you need to do now is stand firm and hold tight to the line of teachings we have passed on to you….
OBSERVATION: There are some key observations in the Scripture verses today that will cause us to know that our salvation is not happenchance but something that occurred because of the provision, love and spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you have been blessed with this salvation of which I speak, try to follow the direction by Paul to stand firm in what you believe, and hold on tight to the promises given to you by God!
APPLICATION: Pastors come, and pastors go, so over your lifetime as a church goer you may have been blessed with the ministry of several different pastors. I wonder how many of them can, and would consider, writing back to a congregation they served and make a similar wish as to what Paul did to the church at Thessalonica. One big difference is that Paul’s letter to his church was incentivized by God Himself, as God wanted His church – the ongoing church of Jesus Christ, to learn from Paul’s teaching. That’s how this got included in the Bible, whereas any letters from your previous pastors may not have made the cut! However, I feel like we should learn from what Paul included in his letter and see whether we might display such qualities in our own church:
- Handpicked, or chosen, by God – Paul reminded the church that they did not come about by chance, but were chosen by God as one to lead in the example of salvation brought on by the Spirit;
- Sanctification – God desires a sanctified people, so He brought it about in this early church;
- He called them – The church heard the gospel when it was preached by Paul and his team, and because they believed, God called them to Himself, to operate in a way that would be pleasing and honorable to Him;
- Paul was happy to see that God’s glory was shared with the church – Interesting how people will notice when Jesus is involved, and they see Him being glorified. Some churches choose to promote their ministry, their pastor, their teachers, their beautiful church building, but it’s God and God alone who deserves the praise and glory for all that He is doing in and through His church.
Friends, when God is at work in His church, the world will see that the church is real and indeed serving the living God. When the church is apparently flourishing from programs and personalities, then the church fails when these things fade away or no longer exist. Paul encouraged the church to stand firm in what they first believed. Paul knew that he was meticulous in what he shared, so if they refer back to what they first believed, and then aim at passing that along to others who come seeking, the church of Jesus Christ would flourish. Is your church flourishing today, in spite of the many ways that Satan is pushing hard to destroy the work of Christ? If it’s not, then perhaps it’s time to do like Paul encouraged his church to do – go back to what you first believed and honor Christ for who He is, not in what we’ve become. Stand firm in the faith my friend. Be a part of a church that also stands firm in the One in whom they first believed.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: Take part in the glory of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, our Liberating King.
PRAYER: I feel blessed to have heard this direction given by Paul to the church at Thessalonica, because I feel like God is still challenging the church today to not wander away from what He first ordained the church to be. Please challenge Your church today, oh Lord – my church, to be so mindful of sharing the teachings of Jesus Christ, that those who walk through our doors will find the presence of the Almighty permeating the whole facility in which we meet to worship, pray, teach, preach, and grow our young ones. I realize that it will be up to us to surrender ourselves back to You and stop promoting ourselves and our programs. It’s Your church dear God, the place where You live and operate. May this be obvious as we meet in Your name to worship You. I’m afraid that we have made Your house something that we think the world is looking for, but I beg You to get our attention and direct us to making Your house what You would have it be. When this happens, You will draw all men unto yourself and Your blessings will flow. Please help us to not interfere with what You desire of us, so that You name might be magnified, and Your people come to You in droves. Speak Lord, and may Your servants hear, believe and obey. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!