INTO THE GOSPEL MESSAGE
Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us good news of your faith and love; that you always think kindly of us. I Thessalonians 3:6
The one who preaches the full counsel of the Word to us, the one who is not afraid to address issues like our sin, submission to authority, and absolute obedience to God, can often be despised for daring to rock our boat of self-obsession. If we are out to indulge in the pleasures of life and suffer minimal risk for the kingdom, we will resent not only the message, but the message bearer. What makes or breaks such a pastor is whether the truth is brought in humility, in the context of a loving relationship with his people.
My ministry for several decades has been to encourage women to build a sure foundation for their faith by exploring the unwavering love of a Heavenly Father who calls them His beloved. I have been passionate about defending, and then highlighting, God’s character. Daughters of promise have been encouraged to live in the kingdom and learn how to sit, daily, at the feet of the Rabbi .
Over the past five years, my calling has changed to include expansive teaching. I bring a deeper message that says, “Now that we know we’re loved, here’s what God is asking of us.”
I lead others to spiritual boot camp and deal with issues like engaging in the daily disciplines of the faith, putting to death all flesh, taking every thought captive, and enforcing the victory of Calvary as a soldier in His army. These are not necessarily popular messages with the church. The irony is, anyone who heeds the Biblical call to true discipleship will know joy unspeakable. She who loses her life will find it!
Paul is relieved to hear from Timothy that his new converts in Thessalonica think kindly of him. Why would that surprise him? Because ever since he shared the Gospel with them and they gave themselves to Christ, they have suffered the fires of persecution. The serpent would suggest to them, “The worst day of your life was the day the Apostle Paul came to town. Nothing has been right since.” They didn’t fall for it, though. Good for them! What they lost in this life, they gained a thousand fold in the next.
Difficult teachings are not to be spurned, Lord. They are the way of eternal life. I embrace them and pass them on with love and conviction. Amen
Journal Question: Is it possible that, somewhere in my life, I believe God should spare me from pain? Where am I tempted to say, “If you loved me, Lord, you would spare me from this!”