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Advent 2022: Day 2

Advent 2022: Day 2

1 Thessalonians 1:2-10 - We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

 

Chrysostom: For to give thanks to God for them is the act of one testifying to how they have advanced in the faith. Not only are the Thessalonians praised by Paul, but Paul thanks God for them, as though God himself had accomplished everything. Paul also teaches them to be moderate in their self-estimation, all but saying that all their growth is from the power of God.

 

Devotional Prayer based on today’s readings

Good Shepherd, thank you for those who have shepherded me throughout my life and faith. For those who have led, fed, protected, healed, cared for, and loved me, I offer you my deepest gratitude. These are the very men and women who have modeled faith and godliness for me. I have been impacted in rich ways I will never be fully aware of, but also in many ways in which I am. Thank you for sending these people into my life O Lord, because I know every good gift is from you, including these shepherds and models of faith.

God, I pray that you will continually fill me with power from your Spirit, as you did the Thessalonians, for I cannot persevere without your gracious strength and stamina. Your Spirit animates my faith and life, from first to last, and I am lost without his presence living in and through me.

I humbly pray that my efforts of feebly attempting to imitate the godliness of those who have come before me will serve others on their journeys of faith as well. Like the Thessalonians, I pray that your truth will ring out by the example of my life, so that others might see and hear it and give you glory and praise and come to know you savingly.

I praise you for the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and for rescuing me from the coming wrath. Please enable my “Christian ringing” to be an attractive echoing of grace, truth, and love, even in its urgency, instead of a clanging gong that drives others away from you. Let my message be your message and help me to trust you in all of it. Remind me that you will bring forth the fruit, not me. You call me to be faithful to you, regardless of how the world hears me. Give me faithfulness each day dear Lord. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

Dale Tedder

Dale Tedder is a United Methodist pastor in Jacksonville, Florida. If you would like to read more on godly manhood, check out Dale's book, Foundations: Key Principles for Godly Manhood. Dale also writes devotions at his website, The Right Path.
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