Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn't think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe. 1 Thessalonians 2:13
Every time I have the opportunity to speak at Sagebrush, it is a humbling experience. To think that God would allow me, a mere mortal, to share His very word is an honor and privilege. I count it a joy to be able to share both my life and God's Word with our people. It is always surprising to me when I hear people say, "That was exactly what I needed to hear today," or "It felt like God was speaking right to me!" This happens because God is at work each time we meet together and open up the Bible.
Paul knew this same joy when he worked in the church of Thessalonica. He had planted this church in just three weeks time, and they quickly grew in number. When Paul spoke, they hung on everything that he said, accepting it not as human ideas, but as the very Word of God. God was speaking through the apostle Paul, and because of it, millions of lives have been changed. Both those who were in Thessalonica, and so many more since who have read the words of his letters, have been transformed by the power of God.
God still speaks every weekend to us. We have to be willing to listen for His voice. There are times when people come to church, and they are not willing to take it in. They sit cold, waiting for their meal ticket after service with their family, and they miss out on what God has to say to them. They close their ears to the Word of God as we open the Bible. But then there are others that lean in. They hang on every word that the pastor says, taking notes, preparing for small group, and then they do the Daily Devotional all the way to Day Six! These people are hungry for God to speak into their lives and open to where the Holy Spirit leads. Thank you for taking the time to sharpen your sword every week! Please know that we are praying that God continues to speak to you as you lean into your faith. Keep holding tightly to the Sword of the Spirit, the very Word of God, to advance the name of Jesus in our lost world.
When you come to church this weekend, allow God to speak to your heart. In your journal, take some time to write out a prayer to God, asking Him to speak to you this weekend. We also want to encourage you to attend this weekend with your small group. If you are not currently in a group, this weekend is Group Match. We would love to get you connected. We will see you this weekend!
Read 1 Thessalonians 2:9-16 (NLT)
Don’t you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night and day we toiled to earn a living so that we would not be a burden to any of you as we preached God’s Good News to you. You yourselves are our witnesses—and so is God—that we were devout and honest and faultless toward all of you believers. And you know that we treated each of you as a father treats his own children. We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. For he called you to share in his Kingdom and glory.
Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe.
And then, dear brothers and sisters, you suffered persecution from your own countrymen. In this way, you imitated the believers in God’s churches in Judea who, because of their belief in Christ Jesus, suffered from their own people, the Jews. For some of the Jews killed the prophets, and some even killed the Lord Jesus. Now they have persecuted us, too. They fail to please God and work against all humanity as they try to keep us from preaching the Good News of salvation to the Gentiles. By doing this, they continue to pile up their sins. But the anger of God has caught up with them at last.
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