2 Thessalonians 3:3-5
As far as Paul was concerned, the Thessalonians would completely understand what he meant byt “choosing.” It wasn’t controversial for them. Our problem is that we can’t agree on what it really means, who it applies to, how it works. So we argue. For Paul and the early church, it was a source of comfort and encouragement, knowing that God would protect His children’s eternity. That’s why there is less debate now about perseverance of the saints…although there are still plenty who don’t hold to that view. It isn’t our own strength that will keep us from following evil, but His, as He strengthns us. It’s spiritual growth & reliance on the Spirit. Paul wasn’t worried about the Thessalonians having faith and obeying. While they had been led astray in their understanding of where they were on the timeline, they were still living out their faith, and Paul commended them for that. My tendency in preaching and leading the church is to focus on life change and action. This passage reminds me that I also need to encourage my flock. It isn’t that hard here. It is a very active church and I hear great stories of people reaching out to their friends, neighbors, family, and others. They serve within the church in a multitude of ways and are very involved in several local service organizations. This congregation is committed to missions like few others. We aren’t perfect, but it’s a pretty great gathering of people. When I think about being at the helm and caring for, leading this congregation, I am overwhelmed with the responsibility as well as the incredible blessing. I don’t know why they picked me and can only say the Lord had to bring it all toghether. Perhaps more than anytime before, I think we’ve found home.
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