From: Rich Carlson
Date: March 4, 2020
Subject: It's March 4; Good Morning Union

“And so, you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia.”   1Thessalonians 1:7

I decided that I would follow the journey of Paul for a little while and see where that takes me devotionally. After he left Philippi (where I focused GMU for the past couple weeks) he journeyed south and west to the city of Thessalonica. History suggests that he probably wrote this letter from Corinth some time later. The people in Philippi sent him financial support when he was in need and being challenged for his faith in this new city, so it seems like a natural follow up to Philippians.

And here’s Paul, offering prayers of thanksgiving in the midst of persecution! “We (Paul, Timothy and Silas) always thank God for all of you.”  What a good “habit” to get into- always being thankful, and not just for my friends but for everyone! It can change my view of life and the people around me when I am practicing being thankful for all of them.

And then he identified three qualities in their lives that probably helped make them easier to be thankful for!

  1. “your work produced by faith
  2. Your labor prompted by love
  3. And your endurance inspired by hope in Jesus”

“We pray for you and thank God for you BECAUSE of your faith, which helped you keep on serving God, your love which was the motivator, and the fact that you are hanging in there even when things get tough because you have your hope focused on Jesus.”

“We brought to you a gospel of power from the Holy Spirit,” says Paul, “and you became imitators of us and the Lord, modeling those qualities for all the believers; you turned away from evil and lived your lives focused on Jesus.”

Wow!! Wouldn’t THAT be a nice thank you note from your pastor?! That’s the first chapter of 1 Thessalonians, and that’s what I share with you today. Thank you ALL for the ways I see you growing in Jesus; making wise choices which include discovering how to commit your life to Him. I am blessed as I watch you take the power of the gospel of Jesus and apply it to your life, faithfully serving Him and focusing on Him no matter what. Serving and working for God with faithful endurance, produced, prompted and inspired by “faith, hope and love.” I thank God every day for all of you.

Have a great day faithfully living for Jesus,

Pastor Rich


Quote for the day:      “When the church fails to help form the conscience according to Christian principles, society, by default, will do so according to its values and passions.”


PS        I just got an email from Guam Micronesia where 8 of our student missionaries are serving. At this point there is no Corona Virus on any of the islands but, because of their proximity to the affected areas they have placed all the islands on Level 1 alert and are take great precautions, doing all they can to keep the islands unaffected. Please keep our SMs in your prayers as they keep serving. At this point they are all safe and well and we are being advised to leave them in place.