Tuesday, April 12, 2011

YOUR TUESDAY MORNING DEVOTION!


ENDURING THE RACE
by 
Our scripture focus today is 1 Thessalonians 2. Please read the entire chapter at one time to get an overall picture. Keep in mind that Paul was writing to the new converts at the church in Thessalonica. Those new believers needed a deeper understanding of the Scriptures, true doctrine, and application. A thriving and busy port, Thessalonica served as a major trade route and thoroughfare. It was the largest city in Macedonia and was the capital. Paul took advantage of the city’s dynamics to spread the gospel message of salvation through Jesus.” – Carla McDougal
Those words sprang from the pages of my Bible. The NIV notes labeled verses 1-12 a manual for ministers. But it becomes a guideline for me on how to live worthy for God. Make no mistake. Jesus didn’t die on the cross in vain. He died because He wanted to save us—His children. As a girl who grew up with hardly any support these words feel nice. To be called His, to be loved by our Father wraps us in this warm blanket and it can keep off the cold winds if we allow it. To live worthy for God by no means says that we must do good works to get Salvation. Wouldn’t we want to do our best for someone we admire and look up to, and love? To do this means I must spend time with Him.
We need courage to get our hands dirty in servitude because we want people to see Jesus. Paul was not afraid to do manual labor. The Greeks saw manual labor as beneath them, but Paul would work hard to spread the Gospel. Plus, he didn’t want to cause a hardship by having the person housing him to pay for everything. 
Courage is required to go against the popular knowledge of the day (word of men; v. 13). It’s easy to stab your finger on a page in the Bible and pick out a verse, then wrap it around some truth we have invented. It’s much harder to really read the Bible, invest time to learn it in context, and live a life counter cultural trusting in God when the world would have you buy into its lies. Gentleness, love and holiness I believe are all self-explanatory. Aren’t we as believers supposed to move through this life worshiping God every day?
“And we also thank God continually because when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of me, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13
As a Christian, the minute you accept Jesus into your life you are given the ability to develop your relationship with Him, but it takes time and steadfastness to deepen your walk with Him. It is like training for a marathon. To stay strong throughout the race, you need to build your staying power ahead of time. Spending time in the Word and in prayer develops faith and trust. The more you work out under the master Trainer, the more refined your spiritual strength. And as a result, “Reflecting Him,” becomes automatic.



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