MONDAY, MAY 11
SCRIPTURE: 1 THESSALONIANS 3
Author: Jeremy Witt
We may never know fully the impact that we have on others. People are watching that we are unaware of. Some little things that we may do can mean so much to another person. For example, I sent a “happy birthday” text with GIF of Jerry Seinfeld on it. (A GIF is a picture or brief video/animation of many pictures put together.) I did not consciously choose that image, because I had forgotten how much they like Seinfeld. However, their response was that how much that made their day despite all the social media messages and text messages they received that day. Somehow mine stood out because of this GIF image. Paul writes to the church in Thessalonika and tells them how much their continued faithfulness encourages him. He was fearful that they were led astray by the evil one, but they had remained faithful.
What are examples of this that mean the world to you? Is it when you see and have known someone for your entire life and know how they have walked with the LORD? Is it when you see young families worshipping together in church? (Remember back when we were able to do that? By the way, if you missed yesterday’s sermon, (May 10, 2020) you should hear our plan for coming back to church. Are you encouraged when you see parents leading their own children to salvation? Because of my past ministry experiences, I am encouraged when I see college students and young adults continuing to worship and follow God. These things encourage me. When we see these things, we should tell those how they encourage us and our faith!
The other big thing in chapter 3 in my mind comes in verse 3. Do you see that “we have been destined for this” in the NASB or “but you know that we are destined for such troubles.” What was once off in the distant future is right here in our country. In the news almost daily, I am seeing how churches are being regulated more than before. Churches in the north are being told that when they return, they can not sing due to health concerns. In the Midwest, I read that churches will not be allowed to open until next year while other larger events are being planned for and put on calendars. We have already had many in the past 3-4 years calling for pastors’ sermons to be turned in early so that they do not offend. Church, we are facing persecution today. Those who do not like our message are trying to regulate the church, and I believe more is coming.
For the speech police and political correctness officers out there, I am not attacking any political party nor any specific persons. (This is online so it will be seen.) All I am trying to point out to the CHURCH is that we will face suffering and persecution in the coming days for our faith in the LORD Jesus Christ. We must not be “asleep” or not watching. Paul is telling the church that their faith in the midst of suffering has encouraged him. Paul is reminding the church to be watchful and waiting for the coming of the LORD. Encourage one another with our faithfulness to the LORD. Verses 7-8 speaks of this again.
Think again of those who encourage you despite their circumstances. Think about the single parent who is faithful to bring their children and faithfully disciple their children in the LORD. Think about the teenager who comes to worship alone each Sunday. Think about the widow and widower who are faithful to the LORD. Think about the family who is faithful and continue to give their time and resources despite losing their jobs. Think about the spouse who is married to an unbeliever and strives to live a life that will share the hope of Jesus by both their words and actions. We encourage each other when we do these things and more. We need one another, and this is part of the reasons why we need to worship together each week. We may each other better!!! Would you reread verses 12-13 again as this is my prayer for us today?