Verse of the Day and Devotional 3/17/2022

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Verse of the Day

March 17th, 2022

Scripture

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. – 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 ESV

Devotion

When the Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached, it is done so by human beings. Individual human beings, one might say, take ownership of it and become responsible for it. This does not mean that the Gospel is nothing more than the creation of mere humans, for the Apostle Paul says “it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16), but it does mean that those who preach the gospel become its heralds or representatives. It is in this way that Paul can refer to “our” Gospel. The Gospel he preached was the Gospel of an individual herald of the Gospel who had made it his own.

As is the case for all heralds of the Gospel, the effectiveness of Paul’s preaching was dependent upon the activity of God. If Paul’s Gospel was to be something more than mere words, if it was to have a transformative effect in the lives of its hearers, then God would have to be at work in his preaching. And Paul is saying in our verses for today that he is convinced God was indeed at work in his preaching to the Thessalonians and that this must mean God had chosen them to accept the Gospel.

The reason Paul was convinced that God was at work was the way he experienced his preaching of the Gospel to them. He realized that the words he spoke were not mere words, mere theological information, but that they came with power, with the Holy Spirit, and with deep conviction. They came, that is, with the “power of God for salvation,” with a sense of the presence and enablement of the Holy Spirit, and with no doubt in his own mind. Although he had made the Gospel his own, he sensed that he was not alone. The Holy Spirit was with him.

Every Christian is involved in some way, shape, or form, in the spread of the Gospel. Today, since we can do nothing apart from Him, ask God to be involved in your part of that great enterprise, just as He was with Paul.

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