Friday, July 22, 2016

1 Thessalonians 2: 19-20

1 Thessalonians 2: 19-20
For 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? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.

Father in Heaven,
Thank you for calling me into Your unshakable kingdom. I am impressed with Paul's remarkable joy.

After being beaten bloody and put behind bars for spreading the Word that Jesus saves, he was empowered and delighted to continue to do it.

Deeply devoted to his spiritual children, he was thrilled to live with them and work with them.

An exemplary example, He received immense pleasure comforting, encouraging, and urging them to live lives worthy of You and Your kingdom even though it was a hard life.

Watching them live out their faith and work through their troubles brought him incredible bliss.

Being with them was an intense desire of his heart because they were his pride and joy!

Help me dear Lord, by the power of Your Word, to hold unswervingly to the Blessed Hope of Heaven and fearlessly and faithfully share it with others.

When my family and friends reject me for my faith, remind me that my spiritual family is an incredible blessing. Comforting, encouraging, and urging them to live lives worthy of the Christian name is an enormous honor.

Watching them live out their faith and work through their troubles will bring me unspeakable joy. It will be a privilege to stand with them in Your presence when Jesus our Master appears in all His glory, splendor and majesty. Amen.

The crowns we wear in heaven must be won on earth. Will you receive the Soul Winners Crown for sacrificing your life to rescue people from the fiery flames of Hell? People in foreign lands are. 

After years of imprisonment and solitary confinement, enduring inhumane torture, Richard Wurmbrand (founder of Voice of the Martyrs) emerged with a powerful testimony of courageous faith. He wrote in his book Tortured for Christ, "Persecution has backfired and produced serious, dedicated Christians such as are rarely seen in free lands."  

Even today, believers are suffering and dying for Christ, yet their faith will not falter under the most unthinkable persecutions. Following is a modern day story from the Middle East recently published by Voice of the Martyrs. 

As he serves the persecuted church in the Middle East, a front-line worker is watching the gospel spread and change lives in a predominantly Muslim region.

In his own village, and among the Syrian and Iraqi refugees his church has visited, people are coming to Christ as persecuted believers live out their faith.

"We have new people in our home groups and it's an opportunity for them to hear the good news," the front-line worker said. "We have focused in our weekly service on subordination to the Lord Jesus and bearing persecution that could happen to the church. Read more ...

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