- 2 Thessalonians 1-2
- Daniel 5
I look forward to the day when I can look back at you guys, and be able to say the same of them as Paul says of the Thessalonians in 2 Thess 1:3-4.
“We can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing. We proudly tell God’s other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering.”
We are so proud of where each of you are at, and what God is doing in and through your lives! Keep living for Jesus!
In the past we have followed Paul’s words. I remembered witnessing Jeff and Joy’s life. As we witnessed their life and saw their testimony in the midst of persecution and hardship, we proudly shared it with our churches and supporters.
This past week, Dave and Emily Rimstead in Maliyali shared of their burden, their hardship. The doctor is allowing them to finish phase 1, but then they will have to return to the US to deal with medical things. But, their faith, their testimony, is so beautiful. We proudly tell our churches (God’s other churches) about their love for the Maliyali, and their endurance and faithfulness in all their hardships!
That should be the desire of all of us. Paul goes on in chapter 2 to say this; 2 Thess 2:13-16 We can’t help but thank God for you… we are always thankful that God chose you to be among the first to experience salvation… With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you…”
Phil 2:2 Jesus said, (because you have experienced encouragement from belonging to Christ, comfort from His love, fellowship in His Spirit (Phil 2:1) “Make my joy complete.” (ESV) “Make me truly happy” (NLV) BY agreeing wholeheartedly, loving each other, working together with one mind and purpose.” (NLV) Keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you! (Keep a strong grip on PHIL 2:1)
Interesting that I read 1 Thessalonians 1-2 today. But my Old Testament reading was Daniel chapter 5. Daniel is such a great example of this. 2 verses stuck out to me in chapter 5
- Daniel 5:11 There is a man in your kingdom who has within him the spirit of the holy gods…
- Daniel 5:14 “I have heard that you have the spirit of the gods within you and that you are filled with insight, understanding and wisdom.”
Daniel’s faith and his faithfulness was so great, each of the kings that he served under came to trust him… even though Daniel was a refugee and technically a captive in Babylon.
As believers witness our lives, it should encourage them to endure, be faithful, grow in faith… (Ps 69:29-32) But that will only be the case when we “Keep a strong grip” on what we know is true!
Because when the conversation begins to heat up, or the circumstances begin to seem out of our control, and our emotions begin to hijack our thinking, we have got to have a strong grip in order to declare truth to ourselves and think clearly.