So often in life and in the church, we focus on what’s wrong. It is easy to find fault and knit-pick. It is easy to talk about what a person is not, what a job is not, what a church is not. Sad is the man or woman whose time and energy is consumed with what isn’t because they never get to enjoy what is. Nor do they come to the realization of what something or someone has the potential to become.
In 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4, Paul starts off this letter commending the saints for being a church to be proud of. He mentioned three characteristics of the church at Thessalonica that made them a special people. I believe that these are three characteristics that are evident in the church and are likely evident in your life.
First of all Paul commends the Thessalonian saints for their faith. In 1 Thessalonians Paul is concerned about the faith of the saints. In 2 Thessalonians, the saints had made some progress in their faith. They were growing in their faith by leaps and bounds.
After another year of living and receiving the Word through preaching and teaching, your faith is at a better place and deeper level place now than it was in January 2016. It’s not that you have finished growing. But rather it is that your faith has grown and is continuing to grow. This change on the inside is noticeable from the outside.
Worries and fears that used to keep you up at night don’t keep you awake anymore because you have given God the night watch since He is going to be up anyway. As a result your health improved.
Your growth in faith may be evident by your giving. You started giving more to the Lord last year. You gave to God first and He proved time and time again that He will supply your needs according to His riches!
Maybe you made the commitment that you are going to stop living life your way. Your way was getting you nothing but pain, trouble and guilt. Since you have been living God’s way, you are happier and blessed.
When people see our faith, it encourages them to keep on striving. Your co-workers and family members notice it and ask you to pray for them. People begin to ask how you can be so strong. That is your opportunity to share your testimony about Jesus. Thank God that our faith continually grows abundantly.
Next week we will share how we have grown in the Lord through our love.
Minister Ross' creativity, wisdom, and insight have inspired community, church and corporate audiences throughout the United States.