2 Thessalonians 1:1 - Choices
2 Thessalonians 1:1 "To the people of the church in Thessalonica, who belong to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:" (TEV)
I remember a civics class in high school in which my teacher made it a requirement that we all memorize the Declaration of Independence. In it there is language that says "we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights".
We were also required to study the Constitution. In it is the first amendment which says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
These studies, along with some scriptures that illustrated the Lord gave man the privilege of choosing, created in me the sense that I was pretty much free to do what I wanted, when I wanted............within the bounds of law and proper discretion. So after I was old enough to leave my family home, I was eager to test this ability to choose............and I pretty consistently chose wrong.
I never got into any real trouble, but I never did have a sense that my life was focused until, that is, one of my choices was to create and build a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord then put in my life some teachers..........who taught me what a proper relationship with the Lord entailed. One of those responsibilities is to get in the Lord's Word.
And when I got in there and learned more about Him, I began to feel like Paul did in 1 Corinthians, "If I were doing this of my own free will, then I would deserve payment. But God has chosen me and given me this sacred trust, and I have no choice." (1 Corinthians 9:17 (NLT))
The Lord chose me, but gave me the opportunity to do what I wanted. And when I chose to build a deeper relationship with Him, I gradually found out that "deeper" relationship involved belonging to Him..............His Family..............His Ways. I was His servant to do with what He chose to do.
After learning that, I struggle daily to serve the Lord in all that I do. I've come up short many times, but the Lord is always there to tell me how to do it better. And I'm not going to give up...........with His Help and Grace.
And I proclaim that I proudly "belong to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." I am both His servant and a member of the family of the King.
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 January 5, 2004 in post #447. 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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