May 17: thank you (1 Kings 2; 1 Chronicles 29; Psalm 95; 2 Thessalonians 1)

What have we to be thankful for? What gifts have we received at God’s generous hands?Each day as I read from the Bible, I am listening for some message. Today, I am drawn to one verse from 2 Thessalonians 1. We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. (vs 3)

We ought always to thank God – for you. One of the lessons I remember from childhood is the important of saying thanks. The day after Christmas, I was writing thank you notes. The day after my birthday, I was writing thank you notes. I still write thank you notes in response to gifts received. I’ve also learned the power of receiving a thank you note. I don’t give in order to receive a thank you, but receiving the thank you, especially when unexpected (or seemingly undeserved) has an impact.

Paul was writing to the Thessalonian Christian and describing to them how he was thanking God for a gift received. That gift was what Paul realized God was doing. Their faith was growing. Their love for one another was increasing. And not by accident. In fact, this was happening in the face of significant persecution. But they were allowing God to do what God could do in their lives. And Paul gave thanks – to God for what God was doing. And in describing this to the Thessalonians, Paul offered an important lesson.

Look and see what God is doing. What are the signs of God’s work in your day, your life, your church? And give thanks.

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