Pastor Steven’s Message
Rescued From Wrath
Rev. Steven G. Lightfoot
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
The First Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians
1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace.
The Thessalonians’ Faith and Example
2 We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers,
constantly 3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of
love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers and
sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our message of the gospel
came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full
conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your
sake. 6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution
you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an
example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For the word of the Lord
has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your
faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. 9 For the
people of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and
how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, 10 and to wait for
his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the
wrath that is coming.
I want you to imagine that Paul is not writing this letter to the church at
Thessalonica, but rather that he is writing this letter to the church in Splendora…
I, Paul, together here with Silas and Timothy, send greetings to the
church at Countryside, Christians assembled by God the Father and by the Master,
Jesus Christ. God’s amazing grace be with you! God’s robust peace!
Every time we think of you at Countryside, we thank God for you. Day and
night you’re in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love,
and your patience of hope in following our Master, Jesus Christ, before God our
Father. It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has
put his hand on you for something special. When the Message we preached came to
you, it wasn’t just words. Something happened in you. The Holy Spirit put steel in
You paid careful attention to the way we lived among you, and determined
to live that way yourselves. In imitating us, you imitated the Master. Although great
trouble accompanied the Word, you were able to take great joy from the Holy Spirit!—
taking the trouble with the joy, the joy with the trouble.
Do you know that all over the area of Splendora and Montgomery County
believers look up to you? The word has gotten around. Your lives are echoing the
Master’s Word, not only in Splendora, but all over the place. The news of your faith
in God is out. We don’t even have to say anything anymore—you’re the message!
People come up and tell us how you received us with open arms, how you deserted the
dead idols of your old life so you could embrace and serve God, the true God. They
marvel at how expectantly you await the arrival of his Son, whom he raised from the
dead—Jesus, who rescued us from certain doom.
This letter is as timely and applicable for us here at Countryside as it was to the
church in Thessalonica. Do we have faith in Christ here? Then I thank God for you,
Paul says! Do we do works of faith here? Then I thank God for you! Do we labor in
love here? Then I thank God for you! Do we wait with the patience of hope in
following Jesus our Master? Then I thank God for you, Paul says!
Paul thanks God for you because you are a church with convictions of steel. Paul
thanks God for you because you are steadfast in your faith and uncompromising in
your belief that Jesus Christ is the way and the truth and the life! Paul thanks God
for you because word of your food pantry has gotten out! Paul thanks God for you
because word of your prayer ministry has gotten out! Paul thanks God for you because
word of your Christmas Angels program has gotten out! Paul thanks God for you
because word of your Bible Study has gotten out! Paul thanks God for you because
your podcast is saving souls, bringing people to Christ all over the planet!
You receive people who come in here with open arms, you are being transformed in
Christ by discipleship, and the cat’s out of the bag, the beans have been spilled, the
word’s gotten out and people are thanking God for you all over the place today!
So let people marvel at how you are expectantly waiting, actively waiting, joyfully
waiting and spreading the gospel of the coming of the Lord. The coming of the Lord
to rescue us… let people marvel because Countryside is looking forward to that day; we’
re not afraid of the wrath to come… to use the vernacular… we ain’t skeered! We’re
believers in Christ! We embrace the coming Christ because while his coming surely
brings judgment and the wrath of a perfectly just and holy God to those who choose
not to have fellowship with Him through Christ, it also brings peace and joy to those
who are already in Christ.
Paul thanks God for you today that you are rescued through Christ from the coming
wrath. I thank God for you today for all that you do in the name of Jesus for this
community. You are the church at Countryside; Christians assembled by God the
Father and by the Master, Jesus Christ. You have overcome by the power of the
Holy Spirit. All glory and honor to God. Amen.
By His Grace,
Pastor Steven †
UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
26117 FM 2090 East
Splendora, Texas 77372
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