Thursday, July 21, 2016

1 Thessalonians 2:2

1 Thessalonians 2:2
We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition. 

O Lord, my God,
I am overwhelmed by the life-changing power, eye-opening Spirit, and deep conviction that came to me when I heard the good news about Jesus, the Christ, Your Son who died and rose to life for sinners like me. Today I think of the price people in foreign lands are paying to bring the unabashed truth to their countrymen. 

Please give me the remarkable bravery and boldness of Paul and Silas who dared to deliver the good news that Jesus saves to the Thessalonians despite the fact that they were beaten, bloodied, bruised, and thrown behind bars in the next town over.

You know that I'm prone to please people. Forgive me, O God! You are the One who tests my heart, not mortal man. You know there is a nationwide trend to water-down the Blessed Message so that it won't be publicly offensive. Lord, let me never again discredit the penalty You paid for me by speaking smooth sounding words that mask the truth. Help me to remember the price paid by Paul, Silas, Timothy, and the modern day persecuted church. Because of their fearlessness and faithfulness, I have received the Blessed Hope of Heaven.

By Your Spirit, give me a pure heart and right motives so that I will be ardent and authentic, willing to endure insults and indignity to take the gospel into the world for the glory of the Blessed Name of Jesus who suffered and bled and died for me. Amen.

According to God's own Words Christians are despised people, not popular. The trend today in the seeker-sensitive, culturally-relevant, emerging church is to mask the truth with smooth sounding words. God's promise for our faith isn't that we'll feel happy, healthy, and terrific. In fact, we'll likely feel like failures when we share the whole truth because it will not be popular, and people will reject us.

1 Thessalonians 3:4 When Paul, Silas, and Timothy were with the Thessalonians, they kept telling them that they would be persecuted. The gift of salvation is absolutely free, but it will cost you everything, and that is the point we usually leave out because it is offensive.

Be careful not to shame the gospel of Jesus Christ. Modern day martyrs are still suffering for it. I recently learned from Voice of the Martyrs about an Afghan brother who was incarcerated for giving out Bibles. While in jail, they broke his fingers and tortured him. His wife was also beaten and now has fled to another country. Meanwhile, our dear Afghan brother stood strong in his faith and actually led two fellow prisoners to freedom in Christ. Praise God for his release! Continue to pray for his recovery as he struggles with PTSD, anxiety and insomnia. 

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