Last night I was reading 1 Thessalonians chapter One, and if you may, please read it too.
A few points highlighted in the chapter there;
you’re in God (vs1); because you turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God (vs9). When you made that decision, Paul says Jesus delivered you “from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
Congratulate yourself for your obedience to the faith, it was a great life decision that many finds difficult doing.
But, many of them who so believe also don’t know how they should continue serving “the living and true God,” as a result they bounce back again to same old idols, and deceptions.
There are three things mentioned that are key for church, and for you personally which you ought to be doing. It is that you should concentrate on;
- your work of faith
- your labour of love, and
- patience of hope!
Peter say, “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:8
In our scripture Paul says, “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” 1 Thessalonians 1:5
When you meditate on the above, it’s like Paul is saying we taught you what real faith, real love, and real hope.
Remember that also;
- faith without works is dead
- love is the greatest, and the
- patience (hope) of the saints.
He said in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three…”
And back to our text Paul says, “And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:” 1 Thessalonians 1:6
“So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.” 1 Thessalonians 1:7
“For from you sounded out the word of the Lord … also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.” vs 8
“These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” 1 Timothy 4:11-13
What is pastor saying? Take note of these three that they become your goals also! It’s not too much a thing that he asked you for, not rocket science to believe – i.e., your work of faith, your labour of love, and patience of hope. “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5). And also, it’s not too much he asked you to become, that you should be examples! That comes naturally on you, after you’ve received the good news.
Pastor is helping you realise this, and that you create real SMART goals for life, and related actions, towards your own spiritual development.
We’ve just seen above that faith is ‘action’, you work for it, and so is love – you also ‘labour’ for it. I told my friends on Facebook that God is moved by faith; don’t settle for less. Mind you, without faith it’s impossible to please him. Set yourself specific goals that are measurable – motivational goals that are achievable, realistic, relevant and time framed.
I want you to take note of the above goals so that you desire to achieve them, and make reality of them. Pastor wants to help you even figure out what your own goals are in the first place. All I do is help you change things that makes you spiritually unproductive, and your faith unfulfilling, and your life unhappy. You’re on a journey, but not a good thing that your spiritual life should stay the same – I want you to be reaching your goal!
Like most preachers I’m not suggesting that I’m perfect. I’m human like you, and also have my failings and shortcomings. However, being a preacher doesn’t mean that I have a trouble free life and have everything figured out. But one thing I know, I know how to negotiate myself through it all. I can help you commit to the work necessary to making a change in your life. If I do that then I’ve done a good job.
Anyway Paul said, “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.” 1 Thessalonians 1:2-4
If you’re one of the few who keeps the faith; “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.“