1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 - Growing Up
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 "We always thank God for you all and always mention you in our prayers. For we remember before our God and Father how you put your faith into practice, how your love made you work so hard, and how your hope in our Lord Jesus Christ is firm." (TEV)
I can remember when I first came to the Lord. I was so excited I wanted to stop everyone I saw and tell them how I felt......I was energized, ready for the Lord to load it on me...........ready to do what the Lord wanted me to do.
This euphoria sustained me for awhile, and then it wore off, and I was faced with knowing that I still loved Him but not knowing how He wanted to use me.......I still had not heard an answer.
After a little longer............and still no word from Him........I decided to get into church drama...........I felt for awhile that drama was my ministry until the last performance, then I again faced a period of time when I searched for what the Lord wanted me to do..............but heard nothing from Him............nor did I see a way to direct my energy and love.
I attended church regularly.............but all I knew of the Lord came from the pulpit......I didn't do much reading on my own in His Word. And gradually over time the love I felt for the Lord grew cold...............I stopped going to church...........I started entertaining the ideas and some of the pleasures of the world.
But there were people praying for me all during this time.........I mentioned one of them, my wife, in a devotional recently. And I'm convinced that those prayers were central to keeping my love for the Lord alive. I never felt like I wanted to walk away from Him....even when I felt I had drifted far away from the love I first felt.
The scripture tonight prompted a recall of the above events. During the time I was drifting, those prayers sustained me until the Lord reached in one night, two years ago and got my attention.......my time drifting out there in the world was over. Jesus had some things he wanted me to do.
But first I had to get to know Him. I was fortunate to have a teacher come into my life who gave me the guidance I needed to discipline myself into spending time in God's word getting to know Him..........talking to Him through prayer.........listening to Him speak into my heart.
And once I began that process of building a relationship with the Lord, I suddenly began to see things open up to me...........things that were always there, but because I didn't take the time with Him I needed.........I kept asking a question..........that if I was listening to Him I would have known He had already answered.
And part of what came with this relationship was a resolve that I haven't experienced before...........a resolve to keep learning His ways so that I can do my part to lead others to Him.............just as I was led to Him several years ago.
Love in Jesus,
"But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired." (1 Corinthians 12:18 NASB)
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."
This devotional was originally posted on CCI-Devo - Daily Group Devotionals on December 1, 2003 in post #417. It was written by Jim Ross, a former United Pentecostal Church member, who attends Christian Challenge International, the sponsor of the devotional group. The devotional is the copyright of Jim Ross and is reprinted on this site by permission.
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August 23, 1997
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