To Serve and to Wait

“We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.  For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you,  because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.  And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit,  so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.  For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything.  For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,  and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10

The word of God is never idle and always effective. It had come in power, the Holy Spirit, and conviction to transform the Thessalonians, reorienting them to lives of zealous faith and Spirit-fueled expectation for things to come. They were no longer their own to do as they pleased, but had been redeemed to proclaim God’s word and serve His purposes. They’d been saved unto eternal glory, implanted with a longing for heaven’s fulfillment of every yes amen promise in Christ. (Isaiah 55:10-11; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Ephesians 1:13-14)

And so are we. If we’re in Christ, God has chosen us, loved us, and by His word convicted us so we might trust and live for Him. It’s important we continually remind ourselves whose we are, and be thankful. We are not adopted into His family to sit back in the cushy comfort of salvation, or to let gifts lie fallow and spiritual muscles atrophy. The Lord gives models in the faith for us to imitate, joy in the midst of affliction, and opportunity in daily duties to speak for Him. He saves us unto lives rich with service and glad waiting for His return. Does this describe us?

Serving our King will look different in different seasons, yet we can work with vigor at any age. Where, how, and how zealously are we serving the Lord and His people? To whom are we an example, and how might we include others in serving alongside us? How does the anticipation of Christ’s return, when we will see Him face to face and give an accounting for every deed done in the flesh, energize and inform our ministry and work? (Luke 12:42-44; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 John 3:3)

Lord, keep me remembering all You have done for me, that in love and gratitude I might serve You and Your people with like generosity, mercy, and grace until You come.

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