October 1 – Today’s Readings – 1Thessalonians 1-3 and Psalms 91
Chapter 2:19-20 of 1Thessalonians reads; “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.”
This perspective on “the true riches of the Kingdom” is the subject I would like us to focus on for a moment. We invest our time in many endeavors, always hoping to see the fruit of our labors – the outcome of time well spent. Paul makes it very clear in this passage that PEOPLE are the essence of God’s “economy”. It is the time spent or invested in people that will reap rewards of godliness, strong character, individuals being added to God’s family – all things that last forever – all things you can take to heaven with you.
Broken relationships therefore, are a problem in a Christian’s life. Friends who become separated because of offence or doctrinal dispute suffer a great deal because something spiritual is lost. Our relationships – when we follow Jesus – are spiritual relationships. We invest our lives in people every day – and every day we invest a part of ourselves in those we “connect” with.
Paul said in Ephesians 4:2-3, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
There is such a Biblical premium placed on good relationships that I once heard a preacher describe the top indicator of the Kingdom of God is “right relationships”.
What is your joy and crown? It is Godly relationships – evangelistic relationships – compassionate relationships. Read the following verses and see if you can pick up the heart of the great Apostle Paul –
1Thessalonians 2:7 “But we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.”
1Thessalonians 2:8 “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.”
1Thessalonians 2:11 “For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children”
1Thessalonians 2:17 “But, brothers, when we were torn away from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you.”
1. Tell of a time when you saw spiritual distress in someone because of a broken relationship due to personal offence.
2. Describe a situation where restorative healing came to a broken relationship.
3. What further lessons can we take from this topic?