Boasting about God’s Work in Other Churches
2 Thessalonians. 1:3-5
They didn’t have Messenger, texting, or WhatsApp, but somehow the early churches kept in touch with each other by word of mouth and letters on papyri delivered as they traveled on business and ministry throughout the Roman Empire. We know this because in 1 Thessalonians, the earliest letter in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul boasted about how believers all over Greece knew about the Thessalonians faith, love, and longing for Jesus to return. Again, as he begins his second letter to them, he speaks about how thankful he is for their faith and love and how he boasts to all the churches about how they are growing.
“We should always be thanking God, brothers and sisters, just as it is only fitting since your faith keeps growing and your love individually expressed to each other just keeps increasing. That’s why we keep boasting among God’s churches about your endurance and faith in the trials and persecutions you are enduring.” 2 Thessalonians 1:3-5
So when we hear how the Lord is powerfully blessing a church meeting in a building across town in generating a multi-racial family of believers, another where the Spirit is powerfully renewing marriages through small groups, or another that has many of the athletes meeting together and leading their friends to Christ, we need to boast. We need to praise the Lord Jesus for all this growth. And, though as American believers we face little persecution, our brothers and sisters in China, like the Thessalonians, are being arrested as they meet in homes for prayer and even children, the elderly, and pregnant women have been mistreated.
LORD, you used the persecution of the Thessalonians by their countrymen to increase their faith, love, and confidence in Jesus’ return. Do the same not only for our Chinese brothers and sisters facing persecution at levels not seen since the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, but also for us.
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