Daily Devotions: September 22, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is 2 Thessalonians chapter 1

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

Every person should be thankful for their church family. The Bible gives us reasons to be grateful. In II Thessalonians 1:3-4 It says, “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure.” (NKJV) First, we give thanks for growing faith. The faith of the Thessalonians was growing exceedingly. Faith is like a muscle, when it is used it grows stronger. Someone said, “A faith that cannot be tested, cannot be trusted.” God uses trials to grow our faith. Faith also grows as a result of reading God’s Word. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (NKJV) Be thankful for the growing faith of other believers who are part of your church. Secondly, give God thanks for the love of your church family. Paul said that the love of the Thessalonians was “abounding.” The word “abounding” pictures a river overflowing its banks. Think in terms of agriculture and irrigation. Crops are nourished by the overflow. Think about how you and your church family are nourished and blessed by the overflow of love from one another. Praise God for loving churches! Lastly, thank God for believers in the church who are patiently enduring trials for the glory of God! Many around us are going through difficulties, but they are faithfully leaning on the Lord through it all. What a blessing to see people who love Jesus stay strong in their faith even though they are struggling. We should be thankful for their example. After giving God thanks for your church, brag on it to others. The world hears enough bad stuff about churches. They need to hear the good stuff!

Prayer: “Lord, thank You for the faith, love, and faithful endurance of the saints of God You have placed in my life. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron