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How the Gospel Must Come

Daily Reading: 1 Thessalonians 1-2

 

Our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. (1 Thessalonians 1.5)

 

Devotional Thought: What a lofty ideal for Christian workers and witnesses to reach for! 

 

In order to be life-changing, the gospel must come with...

·       Words.  Words are important.  From the beginning, words have brought reality into existence.  God said… and it was so…  In covenant relationship with God, our words matter, too.  In our prayers, we pray his heavenly will into our earthly reality.  In our witness, we must share the words of life.  "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe" (1 Corinthians 1.21).

·       Power.  Words alone, however, cannot save.  In order for our words to bring salvation, they must be empowered by God.  Our words are weak and lifeless in themselves.  When the seven sons of Sceva in Acts 19 tried to witness without power, they themselves were overpowered!

·       The Holy Spirit.  That power comes from the Holy Spirit.  "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you."  Pray for the Holy Spirit to come upon you, for it is the Spirit who moves the hearts of men and women.  No one enters the kingdom of God unless he or she is born of the Spirit (John 3.5-8).

·       Conviction.  When the Spirit comes, he will "convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment" (John 16.8).  Though it is somewhat of an antiquated concept, true conversion is impossible without conviction for without conviction there is no repentance and without repentance there is no forgiveness of sins.

 

Pray for yourself and other Christian workers - that the gospel would come in words, in power, in the Holy Spirit, and with deep conviction.

 

Prayer: Lord, help me to be a witness for you empowered by the Holy Spirit, speaking words of truth.  Convict the hearts of those who hear your Word.  Amen.

 

Psalm of the Day: 28.1-5

1 To you, O LORD, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit.

2 Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.

3 Do not drag me off with the wicked, with the workers of evil, who speak peace with their neighbors while evil is in their hearts.

4 Give to them according to their work and according to the evil of their deeds; give to them according to the work of their hands; render them their due reward.

5 Because they do not regard the works of the LORD or the work of his hands, he will tear them down and build them up no more.

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