- Pastor Steve
A Christian Perspective for today
“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.” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-5a)
I say these words to you, my church, my brothers and sisters that God has appointed me to serve.
(And, please understand, I am not changing or altering scripture. The Holy Word of God is referenced above. Below are my words for you, inspired by the Word of God recorded by Paul for the church of the Thessalonians, and for all who call themselves by the name of Christ.)
I thank God for all of you. I continually mention each of you in my prayers.
I consider your work produced by faith in Christ. I know your labor prompted by love of Christ. I think about your endurance inspired by hope in Christ.
God has chosen you, and His Gospel comes not just with the words of scripture, but also with the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of you.
It is very likely that today many of your thoughts are on our country. My intent is not to shift your focus, but to shift your perspective. It is not that we shouldn’t be concerned with our government, how it is run, who is serving in our government, and what direction it is going. These are all valid concerns. However, as Christians, we should not view these things from a worldly perspective, but from a spiritual/holy/everlasting perspective.
The words of God given through the Apostle Paul should remind us that the WORK that is completed through us is done by FAITH in God. It is not done by faith in any country, government, power, or principality. Our faith rests in Christ, and in Christ alone. And our work, while it may benefit our communities and our country, is a thing primarily intended for the benefit of the gospel and the kingdom of God – for our God and His glory.
Our LABOR is prompted by LOVE. Love from God, and for God. Love for His gospel. Love for His Son our Savior Christ Jesus. Our labors are for the eternal kingdom of the Lord God Almighty.
We ENDURE all things because of the HOPE that we have in Jesus. This is the only truly sure hope that exists. Hope in anything else will fail. The truth of this hope is that we can rest assured in it, and in this hope, we endure.
As I write this to you, I feel compelled to remind you that I love this country, and I have served and fought for this country. I want to see more of my countrymen come to know the truth of the gospel of Christ Jesus. I want to see the gospel proclaimed boldly throughout this country.
But I don’t view this country from the limited perspective of one who is bound to this world. I view it from the perspective of one who has been set free through the blood of the Lamb of God. As such, I know that this country had a beginning, and it will have an end. I do not know when it will end, but it is my prayer this country grows in faith in Christ and with glory to God, until He comes to replace it with His holy city. That said, I pray not my will, but God’s will be done.
I also pray for all of you. I pray for you and give thanks for you, daily.
Do not lose Hope. Do not let this world and the politics of earthly kingdoms steal your Joy. Remember that your works are for God’s glory, your labor is for an eternal kingdom, and you will endure because of the assurance that we have in the hope of what Jesus has prepared for each of us.