we always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly.
as we pray to our God and father about you we think about your faithful work your loving deeds and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.
we know dear brothers and sisters that God loves you and has chosen you to be His own people.
for when we brought you the good news it was not only with words but also with power for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true.
and you know our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you.
so you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you.
in this way you imitated both us and the Lord.
as a result you have become an example to all the believers in Greece throughout both Macedonia and Achaia.
although paul addresses this letter to the believers in Thessaloniki which is in the greek owned part of Macedonia it is relevant to all those who believe in Jesus and even those seeking a higher dimension of truth than that which is obtainable within their own selves.
I am challenged by paul and his companions to pray with greater effort for my friends and family.
often I have found the best way to pray is over meals.
even though my food often gets cold as a result I find I have more strength and energy to give meaningful unslurred prayers when I am not drifting off to sleep or trying to shake the fogginess out of my early morning brain.
its clear I have to make time out of my day just for prayer but I am yet to initiate this much helpful thinking and action pattern.
the hope we have in Christ should be the ultimate motivation for our persistence in living out our faith and deeds of love.
when we do kind things for others we are doing them for Jesus.
we may find ourselves inadvertently assisting angels in disguise.
it is amazing to think that God calls us family and loves us despite the fact our souls look like mucky puppies more often than not and regardless of the truth that we are fighting a continual battle to keep our heads about water and maintain our status as His sons and daughters which is revokable based upon whether we choose to accept His forgiveness admit our weakness and rely completely on His strength to lengthen our days and bring us into His glorious celestial inheritance.
the manifestation of the Holy Spirit is confirmation of the truth of Gods existence and the certainty that we have the possibility of redemption through the blood of His precious son.
our care for others is proved in the way we live out our lives.
as james says if we declare I love you brother or sister yet don’t show it in our actions then the truth of God is not in us and we are just playing games with God.
it is huge to think that we have the ability to receive the message of Christ with smiles on our faces even if it brings us humiliation degradation and isolation because we know the reward waiting for us is far more incredible than anything our minds can manufacture outside of His creative input.
though paul mentions that the thessalonians imitated him and the Lord I am sure he would much prefer them to be followers of Christ than followers of paul.
we are identified by our love for Jesus.
we must be completely surrendered to Him in our decision making.
we can only be a shining example for the world to follow if we don’t let the pearls of our morality be trampled by peer pressure or permit our witness to be blown by the inconsistency of our actions.
keep pressing into Gods face for guidance.
fight boldly on your knees.
always aim to please your creator in the days of your youth and do not lose your boldness with the increasing of age.
God is with you. so take courage !