God’s Grace

1 Thessalonians 1:2-10 (ESV)
2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers,3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. 9 For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

An experience of God’s grace has an exponential impact. As people see the effects of God’s grace in our lives, they are drawn to the supernatural work that God does in the hearts of those who have placed their faith in His Son. At the outset of the book Paul is celebrating the faith of the Thessalonians that was born during difficult circumstances and has now inspired people throughout the region.
 
This passages reminds us that when we surrender to God’s grace and accept our need for his work in our lives, people see that they too may find something beyond what they have placed their trust in. As we exercise our faith and demonstrate our convictions of faith, we impact the world around us.
 
Our response to the Gospel in both word and deed has more than just an effect on our own faith journey. Our lives, when lived with conviction and led by the Holy Spirit, serve as examples for other believers to emulate.
 
Reflection:
Take a minute to take stock of your faith. Would people around you see the convictions of your faith in your words and actions? Would they identify you as a Christian? How comfortable would you be telling people to imitate you so that they might also be imitators of Christ?
 
Response:
Consider asking someone that you are around each day if they identify you as a Christian. Ask why they answer the way that they do. Is it your actions or just what you are involved in on Sundays?


Word for today

Psalm 148:7-14
This psalm of praise continues by referring to planet earth. After speaking of the heavens that were designed to praise the Lord, the psalmist mentions things on earth. He begins in verse 7 with the words “Praise the LORD from the earth.” Verse 1 said “from the heavens.” Now, in the last half of this chapter He mentions the processes of the weather, the topography of the land and its productivity, the animals, and all the leaders of the earth, regardless of age – everything and everyone has been created for the praise of our wonderful Lord. Take time this day to list all the things you see around you that have come from the hand of the Lord, and praise Him!
The world that was created for praise – verse 7
The weather that fulfills His word – verse 8
The wonder of the land, trees, and animals – verses 9-10
The way praise applies to humanity – verses 11-12
The worthiness of God to receive all praise – verse 13
The will of God for His people – verse 14
Everything is designed to praise the Lord. Most of the problems we have in life occur when we take our eyes off the Lord and what He has done. We have a tendency to be overwhelmed by our circumstances, and by the problems we are facing, forgetting Who God is and what He can do!
Verse for Meditation
Verse 13 – “Let them praise the Name of the LORD: for His Name alone is excellent: His glory is above the earth and heaven.”
Meditation Prayer
“I praise You, Lord, for my family, my friends, my home and all that I possess, and the beautiful surroundings, like the trees, mountains, rivers, and oceans – they all speak of You.”


God Word For Today

 
 
 
 
God is in control. He is sovereign … even in our pain, even in our troubles. Through it all, his love is transforming us, perfecting us, completing us.
 
James 1:2-4
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. (NLT)