2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12
1:1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:3 We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of everyone of you for one another is increasing.
1:4 Therefore we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith during all your persecutions and the afflictions that you are enduring.
1:11 To this end we always pray for you, asking that our God will make you worthy of his call and will fulfill by his power every good resolve and work of faith,
1:12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is always a powerful thing when a body of believers encourage and pray for one another. The church today sometimes forgets that it needs the encouragement and support of its members and other fellow Christians. The church is not limited to just your congregation, denomination and place of residence. It is made up of a body of believers who all long to love, worship and serve the one and true living God.
Here this letter is being written to encourage the church to keep growing in their faith. The mission to reach out to those in need is no easy task. It is a call that falls unto every single person who claims to follow after Christ. We hold the torch of spreading the flame of God’s love to everyone who we come in contact with. However, that mission is not intended to be done alone nor is it expected to.
The call here is to pray and encourage fellow believers to stay strong in their faith. It is a call to keep pressing on in the life of the church and to never give up. This passage paints for us a picture of what it means to encourage a body of Christians. It also shows us what it means to be thankful for all that God has been doing in the life of other believers and to follow after that example.
Paul commended the Thessalonians because they were pressing forward with the gospel even in the midst of great tribulation. Many of the Christians in Thessaloniki came from pagan cultures and they were embracing a religion that was opposite of the current culture. Yet they were strong in their new faith and so strong that people from surrounding locations noticed and converted.
As Christians we are always a light to the world around us. We are commissioned to live a life of faith that is noticed and respected by others. The fruit of the Spirit should be evident in our lives as it was in the Thessaloniki church. It is the living testimony of Christs followers that will change a watching world. We are the hands and feet of Christ here on the earth.
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