Friday, March 21, 2014

"We Give Thanks To God Always For All Of You"

We often take the church for granted and focus on our responsibilities in, and the sacrifices we make for, the church. But we forget why it is that we have accepted such responsibilities in the first place, why we are willing to make sacrifices for the church.

In his first letter to the church in the ancient Macedonian city of Thessalonica, the apostle Paul gushed with thanksgiving and love the brothers and sisters there. Here are some examples:
We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly remembering you in our prayers (1:2)
And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God... (2:13)
... you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you... (3:6)
For without the church, where would we be? What if you were the only Christian in the world, with no one to share your convictions, your love for God, your faith in Christ, your dependence on the Holy Spirit? What if you had no one to pray with, or to share your burdens, or to encourage you during difficult times when you are feeling weak and discouraged? What if you had no one to help you understand God's word, or confront you when you sin?

Instead of brothers and sisters in Christ, you would be surrounded by people who despised God and couldn't care less about His commandments and promises. The pressure to conform to their ungodly ways would be unimaginable. Life would be one unending battle: just you against the world. No rest, no comrades. What an exhausting and bleak life that would be!

Even the apostle Paul drew strength from other Christians. Even the apostle Paul needed the church. And he rejoiced in it, and thanked God for it. So should we.

No comments:

Post a Comment