Suggested Reading: 1 Thessalonians 1-3
Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).
GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.
Key Verses: 1 Thessalonians 2:13
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
As an introduction to these two letters of Paul to the believers at Thessalonica, Greece (currently called Salonica), we may be better informed by reading Acts 17:1-15. First and second Thessalonians are beautiful examples of the care a true Pastor has for his people. For three Sabbaths Paul taught in the synagogue to the Jewish people, and some believed and received his message. Then the team, Paul, Silas (called Silvanus here) and Timothy spent considerable time reaching out to non-Jews who “turned to God from their idols to serve the true and living God” (1:9b). Paul “laboured night and day” because he probably made tents here, as he did later in Corinth, in order to support the team financially (2:9). We may take notice of two facts:
(1) When we believe the Word of God, it produces EFFECTIVE change in our lives. Watch for this change as we proceed through the Bible in this blog!
(2) While Paul taught and worked, he prayed “exceedingly” (3:10). Firstly, he prayed for God’s direction (3:11). Secondly, he prayed for an increase in love (3:12). Thirdly, he prayed that, “[God] may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints” (3:13).
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, as I read the prayers of Paul, I make them my prayers to You for myself, my family, and all my fellow bloggers. May You give us direction and produce effective change in our lives as we pray “exceedingly,” that we may increase in love. And may You establish our hearts blameless in holiness before You “at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
In the early days of ministry, I was involved with others in planting new congregations. Like Paul, I worked “that I might not be a burden to any” (2:9), not at making tents, but as a carpenter, a catcher of bull frogs for a Montreal restaurant, a Bell telephone contractor (removing telephones from homes where the bills weren’t paid – some I felt so sorry for that I paid their bill), etc. When the congregations grew and prospered, they were able to provide a salary so that I could work full time in ministry. God has always provided for me and my family. Thank You, Lord!
Throughout the years in television ministry, I’ve been involved in helping to produce television in 18 languages, some of which were released in the homelands of our hosts. Rev. Bazil Zetas, an immigrant to Canada from Greece, leads a Greek language congregation in Toronto. He became our Greek language TV host while supporting himself as an employee of Canada Post, and at the same time planting a church. The first TV station in Greece to begin carrying our telecast was Salonica (Thessalonica). Then Athens TV began the transmission of the Word of God on TV, so all of Greece received the good news of Jesus on television. A BIG thank you to all who have supported Crossroads television through the years. There is a new challenge right now that needs support (click here for a statement of the ongoing vision of Crossroads to reach people everywhere with the message of the Person and work of Jesus).
Yours to see the “Word of God” work effectively in us all,
P. S. A few days ago I promised that I’d try to find an old video clip of Norma-Jean and me singing a trio with our daughter Elaine Stacey. It’s Norma-Jean’s song, “He Shall Direct Thy Paths.” I attached the sheet music on my August 6th blog. Click here to watch the video.