The Holy Bible (The Contemporary English Version – 1 Thessalonians 1:7-10):
7 You became an example for all the Lord's followers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 And because of you, the Lord's message has spread everywhere in those regions. Now the news of your faith in God is known all over the world, and we don't have to say a thing about it. 9 Everyone is talking about how you welcomed us and how you turned away from idols to serve the true and living God. 10 They also tell how you are waiting for his Son Jesus to come from heaven. God raised him from death, and on the Day of Judgment Jesus will save us from God's anger.
Thoughts: Through this scripture, I was challenged with the question: So what is your role in spreading the gospel today – in your home, your church, your workplace, your community and the world? Friends I believe that we will find ourselves in one of the following categories:
- A stranger – perhaps because you may not have personally invited Jesus to be a part of your life, to lead, guide and direct you. You know Him from a distance, in name only, but no personal experience with Him. At times you are much like Saul, where you put down Christians and object to the joy that you see in them. You contribute to the part of society for whom the church was created, and intended to minister to;
- Passive – for you were really pushed by a family member to accept Jesus during a revival or crusade, but He really plays no role in your life. In fact, most folk would never guess that you are a Christian;
- Follower – You attend church every weekend, but you pay the preacher to evangelize and teach! You just feel obligated, either through tradition, habit or fashion, that the place for you at least once each weekend is in a church somewhere. You try to be 'good' in the presence of family, friends and coworkers, but they would never guess that it is because of your faith in Jesus Christ;
- On Fire for the Lord – As in the case of a spark that causes a fire, that then spreads to surrounding areas, so it is with this type Christian. You know the Lord; He knows you by name; Others know You are a child of God and yet others want what you have because of the qualities they see God using in and through you. This is the quality that Paul saw in the Thessalonian Christians, and this is what Paul attributed to a growing ministry in the region!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I want to be a light that shines for You, and so filled with You that others that I might touch in one way or another would seek after the source of that light – You, oh Lord. Jesus, I also pray that as our churches are filled up this week that folk willing to move up in the list noted above until they are confidently in the #5 category. People all around us need the Lord, and while You are very capable of showing Yourself to them in very real and tangible ways, I believe that they would be seriously impacted by seeing You at work in their family, friends and church-goers. How awesome it would be to hear You say "my child, it was because of you that this one first recognized me, accepted me and surrendered their hardened life to me"! For those of us striving to be a #5 Christian, I pray that even though we may never know the lives impacted by God through us, that Jesus is welcoming new ones into the kingdom each and every day …because of us! I ask these things humbly, and believing in the power of the Son of God, for it is You alone that I worship and serve oh Lord, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day's devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!