1 Thessalonians 3
8 For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord. 9 For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God,
As Paul was writing his dear friends in the church at Thessalonica he let them know in no uncertain terms of his love for them and how dear they were to him. He already called them his joy and crown of rejoicing at the coming of Christ and now he tells them that as they stand fast in the Lord he lives. Reading the epistles has shown me the great love Paul had for all whom he ministered Christ to. I understand this. In business relationships the goal is to make more money. In the mean time you will make a friend or two but when the money stops flowing you need to go to the next client. In ministry the minister of the Gospel connects heart to heart people who when they come to Christ form both a friendship and an eternal bond.
Paul’s very life was encouraged or discouraged by the spiritual temperature of those he had pointed to Christ. The Thessalonian Christians brought great joy to him as they continued in the word of the Lord. You see, we who proclaim Christ do not do so for personal gain but we are seeking the eternal salvation of people whom Jesus died to save. The stakes are so much higher than anything else we can do. So when those whom we have pointed to Christ are living for Christ, our lives are greatly enriched.
On this Thanksgiving Day, I want to echo the words of Paul: “what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God.” Bobbi and I are so very thankful for each of you who have received the grace of God and have allowed us to have a part in the development of your faith. We give thanksgiving to God today for all of the joy that we feel for your sake before our God. We live when you stand fast in the Lord.
Thank you for your steadfast faith. For what is our hope or joy or our crown of rejoicing? Of course, it is you at the coming of our Lord Jesus, for you are our glory and joy. Happy Thanksgiving.