Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Astonishing Waiting of the Thessalonians

In 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10, Paul says, "Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us.  They [residents of Macedonia, Achaia, and the surrounding regions] tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead--Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath (NIV, italics added).  Eugene Peterson puts it this way in the Message: "They marvel at how expectantly you await the arrival of his Son."  If we are waiting expectantly for Jesus's coming, our mindsets, actions, and words will be very different than those of the world.  In the secular, idol-worshipping Greek world, people were amazed at the faith the Thessalonians had in Jesus's coming back.  May we have the same faith and the same influence on our world.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Strangers In The World

I was reading 1 Peter 1:1 a minute ago, trying to understand what the KJV calls "strangers."  After looking at several translations, I discovered the amazing truth in this verse.  The NIV says, "To God's elect, strangers in the world."  Strangers in the world is a wonderful description of God's elect.  This is not our home.  We are in a foreign land.  The NASB calls us "aliens, the KJV "strangers."  The message is clear.  We must be ambassadors to the world showing the greatness of God's world in the fallen world.