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Friday December 21 – The example of Thessalonians

For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere… – 1 Thessalonians 1:8a

Scripture reading: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

The Christians in Thessalonica suffered much since they put their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.  Paul thanked God for their ability to stand up under pressure, but he also praised them for not hiding their faith in the midst of their suffering. Paul says that they became imitators of him and his fellow workers. They could do this because they welcomed the message with joy. In coming to faith in Jesus, they had a special joy that compelled them to stand up under the pressure of persecution. It also gave them the confidence to declare the message they heard, not only in their own province and in the neighboring province of Achaia, but everywhere they went. This is what the good news of Jesus Christ does to those who come to a living faith in Him.

A young man who hears the words “I do, I accept your proposal,” from the girl he loves deeply, has great joy and is excited to tell everyone the good news. The Thessalonians and all of us who truly believe in Jesus Christ have a much bigger reason to speak with great joy about the wonderful news of Jesus Christ coming to die for sinners. The other great thing about telling others the joy of knowing Jesus is that they can share this joy with us through a living faith in Jesus Christ. Paul not only praised the Thessalonians for standing firm, but also for sharing their faith.

Suggestions for prayer

That the joy of salvation would so overwhelm us that we would always be compelled to proclaim the amazing message that saves wretches like us.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Richard Bultjes is pastor at a church plant in Niagara Falls, Ontario, called River of Life.

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