[CF Devotionals] 2016-08-14 - 1 Thessalonians Study

Letters to a Young Church ~ Acceptance

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  1. Acceptance: What greater joy can one individual have, than the honor of being used in the process of another coming to know the Lord. While our responsibility is to give the Gospel to others, not to “save” them, it is still a great blessing to see them accept that message. This is one of the great blessings of being a parent and living out the Christian life before one's child, seeing them come to salvation.

    For Paul, it seems he can't get over the fact that these individuals had been saved. He expressed genuine joy at their salvation. Paul noted that when the Gospel was received, it wasn't be cause it came from him, but because it came from God. He states that the Gospel is the Word of God and, as such, it has power to work in the lives of men.

    “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:16–17).

    It is important, when dealing with unbelievers, we constantly emphasize we are presenting God’s words, not men’s. We are not called to defend this; it is given. We are simply called to make it clear. It is the Holy Spirit Who convicts the unbeliever of the truth, not all our “facts.”

    The first step in the churches’ work, that is the believers’ work is to …

    “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).

    We must be open to being used by the Holy Spirit to give the Gospel to others, to see it working, to give others the opportunity to come to know the Lord.

    “… So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).

    As we have noted, this can mean the salvation of an individual, or a basis for judging them lost.

    In giving out God's word, it is vital that we constantly remind ourselves that being open to the moving of the Spirit is not an optional part of the Christian life, a role only for the one with the gift of Evangelism, but rather is something required of all of us.

    We need also to recognize that we are all called to be Spirit-filled and therefore need to deal with the sin in our own lives, to allow the Holy Spirit to work.

    “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

    If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:24–25).

To be continued.

[email geoff] GKragen@aol.com

All verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.
For more information about the author, podcasts and additional studies visit www.GKRAGEN.com.

CFD | August 2016 | Geoff's Devotions | Geoff's Studies | Devotional Topics