Standing firm in faith!
Scripture reading for October 10th: 1st Thessalonians 2:9-3:13
” 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 men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.” God’s word has power to work inside of those who will receive it. The Thessalonians had chosen to believe the word of God and embrace it as coming from God, not just men.
This is an argument in our culture today: “How can I know for sure that the Bible is God’s word, and not just men’s.” Jesus taught us that God’s word is Spirit and life. It is like seed or sperm, having the power to produce God’s life within us. (John 6:63) (1st Peter 1:23) All Scripture is inspired by God and the writers of Scripture were moved on by God and given what to write. (2nd Peter 1:20-21)
The Thessalonians often had suffered persecution from their own countrymen for turning away from the idols of that culture. Paul suffered too, as he preached the Gospel in that region. Paul taught the Thessalonians that Satan was behind this. God’s wrath had already fallen on some who were hindering them. (1st Thessalonians 1:14-18)
Paul sent Timothy to the church there to encourage and strengthen them in their faith. He was concerned that the trials might shake the church and cause them to fall away. He knew the ways of the tempter and carried this church on his heart. Timothy brought back a good report of their faith and love. “Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution, we were encouraged about you because of your faith. For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?
What a joy it was to Paul to know that his congregation was strong! He erupted in prayer again: “May the Lord make you love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May He strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all His holy ones.” (1st Thessalonians 3:12-13)