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Devotional

Grace at Work

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.
2 Thessalonians 1:3-4

What in the world is God doing in His church? Sometimes we may not see how He is working, but we must remember that He is always at work. Sometimes we have to look for evidence of grace. The Thessalonian church, however, made God’s work of grace visible. So Paul gives thanks to God for the evidence of grace that he sees in the church at Thessalonica. What did he see?

1} Their faith was growing abundantly. They were continuing to believe God’s word despite the severe persecution they were undergoing {see 2 Thessalonians 1:5}.

2} Their love for one another was increasing. This was a true sign that they were Jesus’ disciples {see John 13:35}.

3} They were steadfast in the midst of persecution and affliction. This steadfastness meant that they were remaining calm while they awaited the outcome of their suffering.

These 3 evidences of God’s grace in the Thessalonian church can easily be turned into 3 prayers that you can pray for the church. Will join me in praying that our faith grows abundantly, our love for one another increases, and that we would remain steadfast in the midst of trials? It will only happen by His grace!

Looking for evidence of His grace,
Benji

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About Benji Magness

Known in many circles as 'Rabbi', Ben-jamin is an artist and pastor who can often be seen with a scruffy beard, drinking Starbucks, listening to reggae, wearing black, changing a diaper or reading backwards. His name in Hebrew means "son of the right hand"- which ironically is the hand he would use to paint, draw or even type for this blog if he ever found the time to do so.

Discussion

One thought on “Grace at Work

  1. Looking for evidence is courtroom language and used in courtroom goals. The Puritan obsession with never allowing their own selves to believe themselves elect, or well-nigh anyone else until dead, is well-documented. Pilgrim’s Progress has a little exit-path to hell in its story of the Christian pilgrim who has travelled through so many trials, and in sight of the Celestial City.

    But as the psychologists say, it’s “functional” for them, isn’t it. 1) As a motivator: there’s always something to do when you must daily prove to yourself that you’re elect, not by looking to Christ, but by looking for “effects” of looking to Christ. 2) As a categorizer: so much fun there must be, in categorizing the lives of others as to their probability of genuineness, as Jonathan Edwards does in Religious Affections, coming up with only one certain effect of God’s work, our good works until we die… 3) as an avoidance mechanism: if we only can succeed in casting doubt on the salvation of others because we’re not sure about the evidence, then we can postpone loving them as ourselves.

    Sorry for the harshness, bro, which has nothing to do with Thessaloniki or you. The word “evidence” should be shown for its judgmental associations. Good works _show_ our faith. This is James’s word, and the Lord’s is the letting of our light shine before men. These are the things that we can do and rejoice when we see in others, and avoid the courtroom sin.

    Posted by larnewman | August 18, 2011, 1:22 pm

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