“For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20
Scripture reading: 1 Thessalonians 2:17–20
The Apostle Paul rejoices in the fruit borne by his work among the Thessalonians. The Lord blessed Paul’s preaching by His accompanying power of the Holy Spirit and dead hearts were made alive in Christ. The Lord had broken the power of Satan that had held the hearts of men and women in Thessalonica captive. God had used Paul’s preaching to open the eyes and ears of men and women who had been dead in sin and trespass. He had revealed Christ to them and they had joyfully responded in faith and repentance to the preaching and in that, Paul rejoiced. Paul preached and the Holy Spirit was active. Men and women were translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light, the kingdom of Christ in Whom they now had redemption and forgiveness of sin (Colossians 1:13,14).
Paul’s response was to give God all the glory and he thanks God for the new creations in the Thessalonian congregation. Paul repeatedly makes it clear that men and women are to glory only in the cross and he is not contradicting himself here. He is not giving himself the glory for the conversion of the Thessalonians, but what he says is that his joy in this world and his glory in the future are tied up with the Thessalonians, whom Christ had transformed through the ministry of his preaching.
How has the preaching affected you? Would Paul rejoice over your faith? It’s an important question. It’s a matter of life and death.
Suggestions for prayer
If you are not yet intimately aware of Christ as your Saviour and Lord, go to Him yet today. Ask Him to open your heart to the preaching of the gospel. If you know Christ, thank God for that miracle of rebirth He has granted you.
Rev. Mark Zylstra is an emeritus minister of the United Reformed Churches in North America. He and his wife Corrie, live in Smithville ON and their home church is Wellandport, ON URC. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.