Today’s Bible reading is I Thessalonians chapter 3
(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)
“You are my pride and joy.” is what Paul said to the believers in Thessalonica (I Thessalonians 2:20 NLT). He said, “We would have come to you, but Satan hindered us.” The solution was to send Timothy. The purpose for Timothy’s ministry visit was, first of all, to establish the church in the faith. They were facing trials and temptations and needed to be well grounded to endure. Paul said, “I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labor be in vain.” (I Thessalonians 3:5b) Not only was Timothy sent to establish them, but also his purpose was to encourage them. Paul was concerned that their afflictions might get them off track in their faith. Christians who are not well grounded in the faith are in danger of being distracted by their struggles. It was a great encouragement to the Apostle Paul to know that the Thessalonians were standing firm in the Lord. The result of being established and encouraged in the faith is found in verse twelve, “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you.” (I Thessalonians 3:12) When we stand firm in the Lord our love for God’s people increases, and our spiritual growth is a great encouragement to others.
Prayer: “Dear Father, Let our spiritual growth be an encouragement to others, and use us to establish others in the faith. In Jesus name. Amen.”
Randy J. McPheron