“Our visit to you was not a failure”.
1 Thess 2:1 GNB
We live in a world that hero-worships those it deems to be successful. This world demands that we shall strive for success. Our own nature drives us to seek success – whether that be in the form of career achievement or significance in some defined area of expertise, such as playing bowls or growing roses. Sometimes a person develops an extraordinary capacity for Christian devotion and those who know that person probably regard him or her as being successful in discipleship.
But success and failure are not easy to define. Most modern readers of the Bible would probably regard the Apostle Paul as the most successful of the Apostles. He was certainly diligent and hard-working – and had a capacity for thinking through the meaning of the Christian faith. Although he travelled to any number of towns and cities in Asia Minor and Greece and preached the gospel of Jesus Christ in them, he did not found churches in all of them. It appears that his mission was not too effective in Athens. But he knew, from the quality of the response by those who believed in Thessalonica, that his visit there had been effective. This was what made him proud of them. Success was measured, for him, in the strength of the faith of those who did become Christian believers. Probably also the number of those who responded positively to the Christian message would have prompted him to see his visit to Thessalonica as success.
As a Christian believer, strive to excel in prayer and in devotion to Jesus. Strive also to excel in serving the church and the community in love and in humility.
Lord, help me to be faithful rather than successful in service.
PRAYER OF INTERCESSION
I pray today Lord for the parents of children who have learning difficulties. Enable them to be infinitely patient and supportive of their children. Help them to find educational facilities that are designed to cater for, and to educate, such children. I ask it in Jesus’ name. AMEN