Devotions of Radiance

Monday, May 18, 2009

1 Thessalonians 2:1-9

I studied the chapter before this with my actiongroup last week, so I thought it would be a good place to continue studying from in my own personal time.

v1-2: Paul talks about how even though he suffered in the past (before he went to thessalonica) it did not detract him from doing what he knew was God's plan for his life. He knew it would not be easy and likely he would persecuted again, but he went anyway. And the story of Paul in Thessalonica from Acts talks about how he was driven from the town from Jews who wanted to kill him. But the important message from these first few verses is that doing what is right is more important than our fears. When we know what is right we should go for it because we have "the help of our God." Let us dare! Dare to tell the good news to those who haven't heard it, dare to live as who we are not as the world says we should be, dare to stand alone for what is right!

v3-6 It's never about pleasing people, it's about doing what is right before God. And to be honest, God knows our hearts and there's no way we can please Him by our actions when we're doing it to please Him. Stop Trying to please people. Paul knows who he is in Christ and that is enough. "a man approved by God to be entrusted with the Gospel" And so should we think that knowing God and His good news about the price he has paid for us to know him freely be enough. Let us never forget who we are and who made us who we are. Forget the rest.

v7-9 To have a postiton of power is great, but it should never be abused or taken advantage of. Rather, open your life up and let people in, because they will see God in your life, and the work you do to keep yourself right before men and right before God. Paul worked to keep himself on the road for Christ. It's important we don't just commit completely to the Church and doing God's work so that we avoid having to work for a living. Don't let laziness and complacency creep into your life so that you lose the desire to work. A father doesn't want his children to mope around all day doing only things they want to because it doesn't prepare them for life. We need to be realistic and live life, not just dissociate from the world we are in but do not belong.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Reading the first 6 verses of this it feels like it does not apply to me, because I am a man. And the last verse seems slightly inappropriate too as I am not married. However I feel that every verse can be used by God to speak to us. So here is what I am getting out of this verse.

In context, the book of 1 Peter is written to Christians facing persecution in a world where they have little or no rights. In particular regarding women who were bound to their husbands' wills and those who were Christian suffered not only in the pain of loved ones not knowing the gospel, but also in that they were not allowed to freely express their love for their Creator in their own homes. The first 6 verses of this text (1peter3) are an encouragement to continue persevering through these hard times, being submissive to that authority which seems to restrict them from living as who they truly are. Why? Because that perseverence, when it comes to God, will create fruit that change not only their lives, but also the lives of those around them. "that they may be won over without words [but] by the behavior of their wives."

So maybe this doesn't just apply to "wives" but to anyone who is in a situation where they cannot express their love for Christ without persecution. We need to keep persevering and the fruit we will reap will change lives!

The last verse is to men. Husbands. A reminder to those who are blessed with a family knowing Christ. We have an incredible blessing, but that blessing does not just belong to us, but to those with us as well. We are all heirs to the "gracious gift of life." So perhaps this verse is not just to men, but to anyone who has forgotten what we are blessed with. The people around us and the relationship we have with Christ, and no matter what our circumstances regarding lifestyle, riches, time, looks, we have so much and we need to respect what we have and be so incredible thankful for it.

For those men with women, treat them with respect, love them, do not poke the fragile glass which has put all its trust in you to keep it whole, and your blessings will continue to shine in on you as you look to the sky and thank God for all he has done for your life!