“God gave us courage to tell you the Good News that comes from him”.
1 Thess 2:2 GNB
The Christian religion is often focused on the person or persons of those who are the leaders in churches. The welfare or progress of a particular community seems to depend on the personality or preaching skills of the preacher. In some communities everything seems to hang on that one person. Often the community does not seem to look beyond that one human agent.
In writing to the Christian community at Thessalonica Paul uses words in such a way that he does not create a personality cult around himself. What the Thessalonians heard was not a projection of the personality of Paul, or Silas, or Timothy. They had not cooked up their message. It came from God himself. It was not human wisdom, human ideas, philosophy or a clever story. It was all from God. It was about what God had done, was doing and would do. The truth of the gospel dawned on John Wesley on 24th May 1738. Early in the morning he read a passage in the second letter of Peter and later, in the evening, he received from God the assurance he needed as a spiritual experience. Then “on June 4th he noted in his diary, ‘All these days I scarce remember to have opened the New Testament, but upon some great and precious promise. And I saw, more than ever, that the gospel is in truth but one great promise, from the beginning of it to the end’” (Soldier’s Armoury, 1977, p5).
The gospel is not a set of instructions on how to be good. It is the Good News of what God has done and the promise of what he will do.
Lord, thank you for your gift of the gospel.
PRAYER OF INTERCESSION
I pray today Lord for those people who find it hard to believe in Jesus or in a God at all. Guide them to work through their doubts and difficulties and to come to faith in Jesus. Bring them into contact with people of strong and vibrant faith. I ask it in Jesus Christ’s name. AMEN