Posted in Monday Matters, The Way

Power, Spirit, Conviction!

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.

1 Thessalonians 1:2‭-‬8 ESV

As I read this passage this morning, it suddenly struck me that this is one of the most stirring and inspiring passages in Paul’s letters. However, it is also very challenging.

Paul begins as usual with prayers for the people he is writing to. He speaks of the work faith has done in them, which led to their labouring out of love for Jesus as well as their steadfast hope in Him. But why is that remarkable?

As Paul continues, he tells why. Not only did the believers in Thessalonica accept the Gospel message, but they did so “in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.” They took it in fully, wholeheartedly, and ran with it. The Thessalonian church became an example of the salvation and glory of the Gospel throughout the area. Wow!

Can that be said of us? Of me? I pray that God may make it so! To be fully convinced of the eternal Truth, filled with the very Spirit of God, and to live in His power daily would change the way we do everything! It would change the world! As we begin a new year, that is my prayer – for me, for you. May the true gospel fill us with His power, Spirit, and conviction so that we too may be examples to the world around us!

Posted in Thoughts & Musings

Where’s the beef?

Or rather, where’s the rest of the sentence?

Background check – I work as a part-time secretary at a local church, and we have a new (well, he was new a year ago!) pastor.  Twice a month we have a staff meeting, and the pastor started opening our meetings with a brief manuscript study of the book of Ephesians.

Cut back to today.  This week’s passage was Chapter 3. As I reviewed the chapter prior to the meeting, I circled the end of verse 1 and drew question marks around it.  Today, I mentioned to the office manager that I found something missing and she exclaimed, “So did I!”   The verse reads: “For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—”   And stops!  The paragraph goes on to something else after that!

We mentioned it at the meeting, and another staff member said it looked like Paul got distracted and forgot to finish the sentence.  Well, as erudite and insightful as Pastor is, his comment was something to the effect of it looked like a fragment to him as well!  And here we were hoping he could explain it!  No such luck.

SO, I’m putting this out there- Does ANYONE know what’s up with this verse?  It’s not important, and certainly doesn’t have any bearing on the good news Paul is sharing, but darned if it isn’t driving me batty!