2 Thessalonians 1:5 - Two-dimensional Relationship
2 Thessalonians 1:5 "This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering --" (ESV)
There have been times in my past when I watched a part of the world around me come apart at the seams, and I'd sometimes ask myself why God had it in for me.........then I'd ask Him.
More often then not the Lord wouldn't answer me back, and I'd be left wondering just what I did that could have upset Him so much that He allowed this to happen to me.
A large part of the reason for this reaction was related to the quality of the relationship I had with the Lord back then. As I've shared before, all I knew of Him came from the pulpit during the few times I was in church.............or occasionally, I'd pick up the Bible and read a scripture...........then start trying to figure a way to "crowbar" it around to address the issue that was confronting me.
All I knew of the Old Testament God back then was that He would smite a person (it seemed) even if that person innocently strayed across the invisible line the Lord had drawn between what is proper and good and what wasn't.
The Lord of the New Testament was much mellower. He was pretty much cool with you..........unless you were a Pharisee or Sadducee....then He'd just yell at you and move on.
That was my spiritual world back then.........and I just couldn't understand why my life was as plain as it was........especially with the Lord saying I could have everything I wished if I asked for it in His Name and believed I'd get it. I was asking, but I wasn't getting.
That view in hindsight reflected my lack of a relationship with Him. I now understand Him in a much different way. He's right there with me..........doing the heavy lifting in my life.........encouraging me..............laughing with me...........warning me........loving me.
And now when I suffer something it isn't nearly as bad as before because I feel His strength coming through the pain, tempering it. Things that used to bother me before, don't bother me any longer.
Things that used to not bother me before now bother me tremendously. Right at the top of that list is what am *I* doing to further the Kingdom of God............to spread the Good News about Him.
I never feel I'm doing enough..........because His Love so humbles me.............I feel that anything I do is not nearly enough. But the Lord addressed that very issue in His Word, ""But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;" (Isaiah 64:6 (NKJV)).
All He's ever wanted from me is to love Him............and that's all He'll ever want...........but He deserves so much more.
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 8, 2004 in post #449. 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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