by pastor david
(1 Thessalonians 1:2 NKJV)
“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers.”
A gentleman reportedly came to Charles Haddon Spurgeon looking for the perfect church. The famous preacher told him he had many saintly people in his congregation, but a Judas could also be among them. After all, even Jesus had a traitor in the company of His Apostles. He went on to say that some might walk disobediently, as had been the case among the believers at Rome, Corinth, Galatia, and Sardis. “My church is not the one you're looking for," said Spurgeon. “But if you should happen to find such a church, I beg you not to join it, for you would spoil the whole thing."
The church will never be perfect until she gets to Glory.
A man once said to me, " Well, I'm not going to church because there are too many hypocrites in the church.” I wanted to say; “There is always room for one more". Instead, I said, “Well you had better not go to hell then, because hell is full of hypocrites.”
Since local churches are made up of sinners saved by God's grace, no church is perfect but some churches are closer to the New Testament ideal than others. The church at Thessalonica was in that category.
At least three times in Paul’s letter to them he gave thanks for this church and the way it had responded to his ministry. (Read 1 Thessalonians 1:2, 2:13, 3:9)
They were examples or models of what Christians and church members should be. (1 Thessalonians 1:7) “For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place.”
May I ask you a personal question? Are you thankful for your Church? Are you appreciative of your Pastor(s), your fellow members, and your faithful workers who serve your Church?
More importantly, do you pray for your Church, its leaders, and its workers? Are you the kind of member that any Pastor would love to join his Church?
No, our churches are not perfect and never will be until Christ returns but in the mean time, let us say with the Apostle Paul, “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers.”
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You.”
One of the things we seldom say to each other is, “I’m afraid”! This is especially the case with men. Even when it is true, we are unwilling to let others know what we are feeling. Perhaps it is our pride that keeps us from being honest and seeking help for our anxieties.
Nevertheless, God knows the things about which we are fearful and has provided everything we need to face our fears! The text above is just one of many such exhortations.
Notice that the “peace” God offers is first…
We see this clearly in the personal pronouns used in the text, “You” and “him”. This is a personal peace offered to you from God, Himself. Jesus said, “I am the good Shepherd” (John 10:11), indicating that He loves and cares for us and proved that by giving “his life for the sheep”. He desperately wants to lead you “beside the still waters”. (Psalm 23:2)
Note also that the “peace” God offers is…
The “peace” God gives is “perfect”, not partial. It is constant, not intermittent. It is continual, not occasional. It is a “peace” with which we should and can be living each day.
However, there is a condition attached to this “perfect peace” and the condition lets us know that the “peace” God offers is also…
Two practical conditions are mentioned here.
• One has to do with our Focus: “whose mind is stayed on You”.
• The other has to do with our Faith: “because he trust in You”.
This “perfect peace” is available to those whose focus and faith are upon Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. The writer of the Book of Hebrews tells us that we can “run with endurance the race that is set before us” by “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2). The phrase, “looking unto Jesus” is literally, “fixing our eyes upon Jesus”. Therein lies the secret to our “perfect peace” – letting our focus and our faith rest in Christ.
Years ago we used to sing a song called, “Peace in the Midst of the Storm”. The lyrics are applicable to the text we are examining today.
There is peace in the midst of the storm-tossed life
There is an Anchor; there is a Rock to build my faith upon
Jesus Christ is my vessel so I fear no alarm
He gives me peace in the midst of the storm[i]
When you are going through a storm, today or in the future, remember that God wants to give you a “peace…which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:6-7). Ask Him for that today.
[i]Peace in the Midst of the Storm, Stephen R. Adams © 1978, 1981, 1998 Pilot Point Music (Admin. by Music Services, Inc.)
Pastor David Boggs
I hope these occasional posts will encourage and challenge you as we grow in Christ together.
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