I’m very concerned. Satan has had his share of successes in bringing down believers. He’ll come at them from any angle. He’s a tempter with no shortage of tricks and temptations to trip-up believers. I’m worried about the Christians in Thessalonica. Their testimony in the community was second to none. Exemplary and a powerful witness for Christ! But they have been under siege. From the outside the persecution is continuing. From the inside, some of their own loved ones have died, and, well – there are other things that I am also worried about. I am praying that Timothy will soon return with some good news from them!
Sure enough, when Timothy returned from Thessalonica, he had great news for the Apostle Paul. Although the persecution was intense and some of them were mourning the death of their loved ones and others were mixed up in faulty eschatological matters, generally their faith was strong. They were still going on firmly for the Lord – smiling through their tears.
But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love… 1Thessalonians 3:6
It’s almost like Paul was able to relax his tense shoulders, and with a deep sigh of relief, he may have said: “Phew!! I can relax a little. They haven’t called it quits! Timothy, that’s awesome news for you to bring back to me. Praise God! I was so worried about all of them!”
How about you? Are people hearing the good news about you – that your faith is strong and that your love is not diminishing? Are their concerns over your spiritual condition well-founded or groundless? Do they have something to worry about or are you growing stronger in the Lord each week? Is the tempter (1Thessalonians 3:5) making inroads into your thinking? Are you starting to have second thoughts about some things you initially felt strongly about in the presence of the Lord?
If no corrections are made to your recent thought patterns and attitude trends, will the Christians eventually hear some bad news about you? If you are not strengthened and encouraged in your faith and in Christ, what will the news be like this time next year about you? Will your ‘old’ Christian friends be asking other friends: “Have you heard anything about her lately? I haven’t seen her around for a while. We used to have such awesome times together and she was a help to me spiritually. I hope she’s okay. But I’m worried.”
It’s very sad news when someone goes down; when a Christian friend is no longer around – no longer in the circle of friends and fellowship of which they once were very much a part. Gone. Down.
What path are you on? Will the news be good or bad?
When Paul was finishing his letter to the Thessalonians he basically said: “Don’t ever stop communicating with your Lord. Pray without ceasing. Don’t stifle the work of the Spirit of God. Stay away from anything that’s evil. Allow yourself to be drawn closer and closer to Christ in your sanctification to God. Don’t ever forget that soon the Lord will come, and you will stand before Him.”
Good advice for you and me.
Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.
Warmly in Christ
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