1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13; Isaiah 17-19; Psalm 114
Thessalonica was one of many cities where Paul caused an uproar. The local city leaders accused Paul and Silas of “turning the world upside down.” Paul and Silas left the city under the cover of darkness for their safety and the safety of the church. They prayed for the Thessalonians because of the trouble. They couldn’t go back immediately for fear of the physical violence that would destroy the people and the church. They sent Timothy back and got word that not only had the church not died out, it was thriving. As Paul wrote to them, they rejoiced at that news. “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?” (1 Thessalonians 2:19) The joy in knowing that people he had led to the Lord were not only continuing in the faith but thriving and growing as a church was exhilarating to Paul. We should feel that same exhilaration when we see those we have led to Christ, those we have worked with on their journey to follow Christ or those whom we have helped disciple after they have followed Jesus. In fact, our joy at the coming of Jesus, or our death – whichever comes first – will not be our material wealth, the positions we have held or anything else; our joy when we stand before Jesus will be to see those whom we have worked with throughout our time on earth glorifying God each and every day. Whose world can we turn upside down today? Who can we share the love of Jesus with? Let’s figure that out and do it with great joy!
Dear Lord, when I think of all of my efforts to serve You I realize that they really don’t add up to much. The service that really lasts is service that leads people to come to You. So, let my life reflect Your love and grace to others when I can’t share openly about You and help me to share Your love openly as I have opportunity. Let my witness and commitment turn the world upside down for many people.