Links Daily Devotional

A Loud Faith

…your faith in God has become known everywhere. (1 Thessalonians 1:8, NIV)

If you’re a golf fan, hanging out with people who play golf at places where golf is played…

And if you’re a golf fan whose Sunday afternoons are full of something other than watching golf…

And if you have a recording device that allows you to watch the golf later, at your convenience…

Then you know how hard it is to keep from hearing the results of a Tour event before you get a chance to sit down and view it for yourself, with all the commensurate suspense that comes with a close contest. In fact, this is not the lament of golf fans only but of sports fans of every stripe. It’s the plague of the Information (radio)-Information (TV)-Information (Internet)-Information (talkative fellow fans) Age.

Long ago, however, when news traveled no faster than a chariot and, more typically, no faster than the feet of a gossip, information still had a way of flowing. And when Paul set his pen to commending the Thessalonians, one thing he proudly reported to them was that he loved the reports of their faith.

These men and women had heard the gospel carried by Paul, Silas, and Timothy (and likely a few others in their Good News entourage) and they had responded eagerly, believing that the words they tendered were the very words of God. Indeed, the gospel came to them “not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction” (1 Thessalonians 1:5).

Yet we know from Jesus’ parable of the soils that sometimes initial responses to the sown seed of the gospel to not take firm root and when troubles or temptations come, the hearers fade in faith. Not so the Thessalonians! What Paul was so excited about—and so eager to commend the Thessalonians for—was that their faith had not only taken root, its branches had spread wide and its leaves had blown across the lands. People everywhere had heard of their strong faith.

Friends, is there a finer report we could desire for ourselves? What a privilege it would be to know that others’ faith is buoyed because of our own! Let us pray and endeavor to make our faith so firm and its expression so worshipful that it is reported far and wide, “Wow, they really believe!”

Jeff Hopper
October 24, 2013
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