Advent Devotional – Wednesday, November 30, 2016 – We Thank God
13And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe. 14For you, brothers, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus:
You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews, 15who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to all men 16in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last.
17But, brothers, when we were torn away from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. 18For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, did, again and again—but Satan stopped us. 19For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? 20Indeed, you are our glory and joy. – I Thessalonians 2:13-20
Timothy sent good news to the Apostle Paul about the new church Paul had established in Thessalonica on his second missionary trip. When Paul looked at the report of these young Christians, he ―thanked God for all he saw. Paul saw people who received the Word of God (In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God – John 1:1).
He saw people who completely trusted God to be in control. He saw people who strove to be a people who imitated God. He saw a people who served God in spite of the extreme difficulties surrounding them. The ultimate reward for Paul‘s service to the people was not money, prestige or fame. Paul‘s ultimate reward was wrapped up in these new believers whose lives had been changed by the Word of God through Paul‘s preaching and teaching.
Thank you God, for sending your Son, the Word, so that we too may receive this Word. So that we may trust You and, in spite of difficulties, serve You.