Thursday, June 28, 2012

1 Thessalonians 1:4-6

For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
Lord, You are the one and only true and living God! I believe!

Thank You for choosing me out of all the people on the face of the earth to hear the good news that Jesus, Your own dear Son, left the hallowed halls of heaven, came to earth, endured temptation, trials, and torture, and died a gruesome and grisly death so that I wouldn't have to endure the discipline and destruction I deserve for my disobedience and defiance. After He was buried for three days in the dark, damp tomb, He suddenly rose to glorious new life so that I could live harmoniously with You forever.

Thank You for the person who was ready to reason with me from the Scriptures, enthusiastically explained these fascinating facts, passionately proved the point, and persistently proclaimed the truth until I was fully persuaded. I'm extremely grateful for the harassment, humiliation and hardship that person bore to bring the gospel to me. The life-changing power, eye-opening Spirit, and deep conviction that came along with the whole story when I finally believed it are remarkable.

Help me O Lord, to remove the idols from my life, turn toward You, and serve You with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. I long to be an imitator of my spiritual parent and You. By Your Spirit, help me to study my Bible earnestly so that I will be ready, in season and out, to put in plain words the Scriptures, make the information interesting, eagerly explain the evidence, and patiently present the particulars even when it's not popular so that others may hear the good news, believe it, and receive the same incredible life-changing power, eye-opening Spirit, and deep conviction that were so graciously given to me.

In spite of all kinds of difficulties and dangers, help me continually do good deeds by faith, carefully labor in love, and consistently endure hardships so that others will know by my exemplary lifestyle that I serve the one and only living and true God while waiting with hopeful expectation for the Son whom You raised from the dead to return from heaven to rescue me from the dominion of darkness for the glory of Your good name. Amen.
Since you responded to the gospel of Jesus Christ, has your life changed so that you are an exemplary example to others? The Thessalonians were known for their boldness in sharing the gospel, their work produced by faith, their labor prompted by love, and their endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. If others were to imitate your life, would the result be for their good and God's glory?

Read 1 Thessalonians 1: 1-10
Read Acts 17:1-9

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