An open Bible and a cup of coffee.

. . . 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, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 1:8b-10

Today’s passage is remarkable for the “data compression” it exhibits. Here in very few beautiful words we have the template for the believer’s walk with God. It begins with a turning to God from something else. The thought is profound. Before we knew Jesus, we looked to something else as our ultimate reference point, our chosen religiously held-to standard of truth. When we turned to Jesus, our minds were re-written. We had a new perspective, new insights, and new plans and priorities. This newness of mind came to expression when we turned our backs on former competing authorities, trusting in the only living and true God (Jeremiah 10:10). Next, we experienced an irresistible a desire to serve the God who loved us first (1 John4:19), the God who demonstrated His redemptive love for us at the cross (Romans 5:8). Because we are individuals uniquely called and equipped by God, our God-honoring service will be different also. We may say that all of our work in the Lord is equally important, though there is great variety in the specific God-honoring tasks we are called to perform (1 Corinthians 12). Lastly, we became people who are constantly growing in our love and admiration for the Savior, looking expectantly for His glorious return to reign and rule over a restored earth. Believing these promises has a purifying effect on us; we do not want to be ashamed before Him at His coming. The apostle John wrote that when Christ “is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:2-3). May we represent our Lord well today, walking in love, obedience, and purity.

God bless you richly, dear saint!

Pastor John