Steadfastness of hope!
Scripture reading for June 15th: Proverbs 22-23, Psalm 117, 1st Thessalonians 1
1st Thessalonians 1:2-8 “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God, that He has chosen 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. 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, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.”
Paul began his letter to the Thessalonian believers with thanksgiving and prayer! The church there that he had helped found was only newly established when persecution forced Paul to leave for other cities. He was pleased to learn that the church there had flourished because of the faith and steadfastness of these believers. They had come to Christ because of God’s grace drawing them through the Word preached to them. The Holy Spirit had brought full conviction of sin and they had repented and believed. In spite of the persecution and affliction, the Holy Spirit had filled them with joy and vision of Christ’s purposes and were now a great example to other believers of God’s amazing grace and faithfulness!
Psalm 117:1-2 “Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol Him all peoples! For great is His steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the power of the Gospel to bring full conviction and repentance leading to a transformed life of faith. These believers are an example to all believers and me today of Your power to keep those You call in the midst of affliction and persecution steadfast in the Blessed Hope, Jesus’ soon return! Praise Your Name, in all nations now and forever! Amen!
Proverbs 22:1 “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.”