“It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special. When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn’t just words. Something happened in you. The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions. You paid careful attention to the way we lived among you and determined to live that way yourselves. In imitating us, you imitated the Master.” (MSG) Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, ~ 51 AD
When Paul wrote this letter to the Thessalonians, God knew it was addressed to them, but He also knew it was written to YOU and me, and everyone who reads it and believes it.
To start your week off, here’s something to do that can lighten your load, your stress, your possible grumpyness, frustration or weariness. Go ahead and read that verse at the top again, but this time, insert YOUR NAME after the word “us” and remove “that”.
Like this: (Say your name here), God not only loves you VERY much, but also has put HIS hand ON YOU for SOMETHING SPECIAL!
Read that again (and again) and really pay attention. Allow the Holy Spirit to infuse inside you that promise and assurance.
Now, we’re going to do this a little differently. Read this as God is saying it to you…because He IS:
(Say your name here), I not only love you VERY much, but I’ve also put My hand ON YOU for SOMETHING SPECIAL!
Those Thessalonians also PAID ATTENTION. They made the effort to study and practice the spiritual disciplines of living a life for the Name of Jesus by following Paul, Simon and Tim and imitating them. They again, imitated Jesus’ disciples who imitated Jesus.
In the busy days we have it’s so easy to not pay attention to the Holy Spirit’s whispers to you throughout the day. This is a spiritual discipline I know I need to give more practice. So, here’s one more challenge for you today:
Get a piece of paper and write that promise you read over and over again for you to tape somewhere that you look often so you’ll be reminded frequently how very loved you are by God and has something special for you. Yes, you.
God, thank You for the endless and deep love You have for us. May Your Spirit penetrate the hearts of each person who reads this today and they may know without a doubt that the words in Your Book read today are for them for a reason. You have plans for each of us, Lord. Please help us to pay attention to the whispers, promises and plans You have for each one of us. Amen.