March 24 - 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10

Sunday, March 24, 2013

March 24 - 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10

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— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.

Have you ever considered that when we face suffering with grace, we show the world evidence of God?  There are any number of ‘differently abled’ people who show great testimony to God’s great work in their lives because they manage through the day without the ease with which many of the rest do so, but what about those little things that we deal with every day?

Annoying drivers, losses by teams we root for, price increases at the grocery store or at the gas station, stupid parents of other children, pushy coworkers, rotten bosses, lousy teachers or professors, cheating classmates.   There are so many things that we face each day in the world.  Moment by moment we are confronted by things which threaten to disrupt our equilibrium.

It is sometimes difficult to accept the fact that the world watches our behavior and judges the evidence of God by how we react.

I grew up in a fishbowl. Mom let me know that it was alright. If I had nothing to hide, I didn't need to worry about people watching me.  Not only was I responsible for living as a Christian would live, I was also responsible for living as Frank and Margie Greenwood’s daughter.  When I had to make a choice, I needed to remember that I wasn't the only person who would face the consequences of that choice. You don’t hide choices and consequences easily when you grow up in a small town. It doesn't take long for everyone to know when someone messes up.  But, I didn't want people to come to church on Sunday morning and look at my Dad any differently because of my actions, so I was careful.

The same principle applies.  I don’t want people to have a negative image of God because of my actions.  I am evidence of His work in my life.

So are you.