Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Thursday after the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on September 14, 2023 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10 (NKJV)
1:2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, 3 remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, 4 knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. 5 For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.
6 And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe. 8 For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything. 9 For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
The good example of the Church shows the brethren the Lord. Notice that the Apostle Paul praises the works of the Church at Thessalonica by telling them how they have helped their neighbor. Their fellow believers are strengthened by the great example that the Church at Thessalonica had in believing the Gospel which Paul preached, and in worshiping the Lord. We may be tempted to think that simply receiving the Word is small work, or no real work at all. That is not how the Apostles, nor the Church at Thessalonica, saw it.
By simply believing in the Lord Jesus and receiving His gifts, the Church of Thessalonica became an example and comfort for their brethren, and certainly bore witness to those around them that the Word of God is true. Extraordinary examples of faith oftentimes are simply those examples of faithful Christians who live out their love for Christ in the ordinary. The flesh wants works that are more attractive, more radical, more dynamic. But quiet faithfulness exalts Christ over our own accomplishments. This is comforting to fellow believers as it gives an example of someone depending on Christ, and not themselves. The Thessalonians simply believed Jesus and received His gifts, and their example was exalted.
Collect: Keep, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy Church with Thy perpetual mercy; and, because the frailty of man without Thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by Thy help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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