Today we welcome James and Brittany Daymond who are serving with BCA in Narromine. They are our link missionaries and we thank the Lord for the opportunity to meet them and hear what the Lord is doing. Paul is greatly encouraged that the Gospel of Jesus was powerfully received by the Thessalonian Christians.One of the signs that the message of Jesus has been truly received is that it comes with deep conviction v5. Another sign of authenticity in true believers is that they don’tgive up when persecution and opposition for the faith comes v6. They also have strength from the Holy Spirit to keep going to serve the Lord Jesus. Further in v2-3 the power to serve God comes through ongoing faith in Jesus and his word. The motivation for serving God is love. A Christian is not driven by guilt but knows that through Christ’s death for their sins they are deeply loved and accepted. This leads to endurance meaning that a genuine Christian doesn’t give up because they have the hope of eternal life now and being with Jesus forever and this is what we look forward to. We know that Gospel preaching was a priority for Paul but the truth of God needed
to be fleshed out in people’s lives also. In v6-7 the modelling of the Christian faith is important. When we tell people that God loves them they need to see that demonstrated in our lives in the way we treat them and others so they not only hear about the love of God but experience the love of God. We know that for a person to become a Christian they need to put their faith in Jesus and this must be accompanied by repentance v9. Paul speaks about turning from idols to the living God. Idols can be statues and in the context of the Roman Empire there were many pagan gods. But ultimately an idol is anything in which we put our trust and relegate God from the central position. So an idol today could be money or even our own wisdom.Christian faith grows when there is repentance and faith coupled together. We see that in the early church and apostolic preaching. Peter in Acts 2:38 said repent and be baptised in the name of Jesus. Being baptised into Jesus name means embracing and believing in who Jesus is and His work on the Cross for our sin. The Christian message is simple and powerful because God changes lives. The Lord did this through preaching at Thessalonika and he continues to do so today. James and Brittany are evangelists for the Lord. Let us pray that like Paul they would see the Gospel believed and received with great conviction as people turn from idols to God and await the second coming of Jesus.
Rev David O’Mara