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Showing posts from October 9, 2016

Growth

What are some characteristics of a fully developing follower of Jesus Christ? We are not asking what does a perfect Christian look like, Jesus has been the only one who was perfect and none of us can meet his standard. What we are looking for is growth that is developing both inside and outside and revealing the character of Christ. Paul spent time in Thessalonica, Greece, building a group of believers there and as he wrote back to them as he journeyed, he was thankful for the stories he heard about the activity of these people. He said, "your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing." (2 Thess. 1:3) Here we have two characteristics essential to a fully developing follower of Jesus Christ. Both of these subjects are powerful words in Christianity, "faith" and "love." They are spoken about throughout the New Testament and express the type of life these believers were living internally and then eternally t…

Worthy

What kind of life does God want you to live? Does He promise to bless you no matter what you do or does He want you to live in keeping with who He is? There were challenges given by Paul to the people of three different churches he had established in his missionary journeys and these help us to understand what God wants from us. To the Colossians Paul said, "that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way; bearing fruit …, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power…" (Colossians 1:10-11) We are to be fruitful, growing, and strong internally. To the Ephesians Paul said, "I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit though the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4:1-3) We are to be acting rightly with those around us. To the Thessalonians Paul said, "urging you to live lives

Action

What did the Thessalonians do right? This was a church initiated by God but activated by Paul. He came there on his second missionary journey (Acts 17:1-9), preached in the synagogue and then established a church of Jewish and Gentile believers. He also faced great persecution so had to depart the city earlier than expected, and even was followed by the persecutors who were intent on making his life difficult. Even so, when Paul writes his first letter back to them (1 Thessalonians) he says that he prays for them on a continual basis related to "your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." (1:3) Here we have a three part emphasis on what the Thessalonians did right. The emphasis is not on the three words, faith, love and hope, because the construction of the phrases puts the activity first and the reason second. They did "work" or we could say their actions were done as a result of their fait…