Bible Text: 1Thessalonians 3:1-13
I marvelled at Paul as I read through Today’s text. He was undergoing a lot of discomfort and persecutions but he wasn’t bothered about those things. His only headache and worry was how the brethren at Thessalonica were coping. He knew that they were still young in faith. And even at that, they were facing serious oppositions and persecutions in their country. Paul had left the country, yet, he wouldn’t just forget these men and women who had come to know the lord through his ministry. Therefore, he laboured still. He found a way to send an emissary on their behalf.
Timothy was sent as a faithful minister. Paul knows that although Timothy was young, He had what it takes to lead. He would be able to comfort these new converts in their distress. Timothy carried out his assignment diligently. He brought good news; “the new converts in Thessalonica hadn’t been discouraged by their suffering. They were in fact missing the apostles and praying for them also. They are not only standing fast in faith, they have also grown in their charity” (verse 6). Hence, Paul was greatly relieved. He could go on living knowing that his efforts at preaching was not in vain (verse 8). He could keep soaring beyond any afflictions or persecution if his children in the faith are not defeated by the tempter. He couldn’t hide his joy. He burst into heartfelt praises and supplications (Verses11-13)
Read also: Attitudes to Situations and people
Beloved, as preachers and servants of God we all need the heart of Paul. In this our time, some people might regard Paul as a fanatic. He was a trained lawyer; an elite in the society, he couldn’t marry so as not to be hindered by family life. From the moment he met Christ, he ran with the gospel. It became his sole passion. What fuels our preachings today? How much do we genuinely care about soul winning or even for the people that we have brought to Christ. Those that are under our tutorship as our congregation, Sunday school students, new convert class members etc. Do we follow up on them until they are brought forth in faith? Paul is teaching us that we need to be more involved in the lives of our young converts. We should carry them along even if there is a distance barrier. We must continue to labour in prayers for their faith. We must make effort to reach out to them and encourage them to stand firm in their faith despite any oppositions.
It is a pity that most of our church programmes are increasingly neglecting this important aspect of our christian principles. Follow up and visitation ministries seem to be one of the least concerns of churches today. There is no joy and comfort that should be greater than seeing our children becoming successful. Many who measure success of ministry by the amount of money it brings should study this passage and see the heart of a true disciple.
PRAYER: Father we thank you for yet another message from your heart. Give us grace to love you and your work more than anything else, that we may find joy only in doing your will, even when it means suffering for doing so. This we ask in Jesus name. Amen