PEDAL PALS

Opening Prayer

Almighty God, from Genesis to Revelation, you have shared and are carrying out your plan for my redemption. Thank you for enabling me to know you, for providing everything I need to grow in faith and walk with you.

Read 2 THESSALONIANS 2:13–3:3

Stand Firm

13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits[a] to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings[b] we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

Request for Prayer

3 As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 Some manuscripts because from the beginning God chose you
  2. 2 Thessalonians 2:15 Or traditions

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Meditate

‘We love because he first loved us.’1

Think Further

I’ve recently discovered the benefits of an electric bike. People ask me if it does all the work, like an electric scooter, but in fact you do have to pedal—your pedaling and the electrical assistance work in symbiosis to get you around.

There are similarities with Paul’s description of the work of salvation in verse 13. This involves some human pedaling: the Christian must decide to believe in the truth. Some gospel presentations seem to suggest that this decision is the only requirement, but look more closely: Paul says that the Thessalonians are saved not only because they believed, but through their belief. The reason they are saved is because God chose them, the first in their region (the ‘firstfruits’ of a harvest were the first produce, dedicated to God).2 God’s choice is not arbitrary, but is intrinsically connected with his love for them.

Paul does not speculate on why they were chosen as opposed to others: rather, he gives thanks that they are loved and chosen to be saved. Can we follow his example? There is no more tangible display of God’s love for us than Christ hanging on the cross. We are not party to the mysteries of God’s working, but we can respond in belief and thanksgiving.

There is another aspect to salvation. The Thessalonians were saved not only through their belief, but through ‘the sanctifying work of the Spirit’—in other words, by the Holy Spirit working in them to make them holy. This implies that Paul views salvation not as a one-off event, but as a continuing process. Again, this is a process which requires our pedaling—Paul urges the Thessalonians to ‘stand firm’ and ‘hold fast’ to his teaching (v. 15)—but is empowered by God, who strengthens us ‘in every good deed and word’ (v. 17).

Apply

Paul was also involved in the Thessalonians’ salvation in that they were ‘called … through our gospel’ (v. 14). Who is God calling you to?

Closing prayer

I rejoice in your faithfulness, Father, as I look to you for help in spreading the message of Jesus. Protect me from those things that would keep me from sharing the gospel in word and deed.

Last Updated on February 15, 2024 by kingstar

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *