Knowing God's Choosing
Scripture Reading — 1 Thessalonians 1
We know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you ... 1 Thessalonians 1:4 —
Considering my family history, it was odd that I got into a career in banking. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, a bank had taken away my grandparents' family farm not long after my grandfather's untimely death.
Despite this and other tragedies in her life, my widowed grandmother was known for her grace. She lived in an era when "sharing your faith" focused more on supporting missionaries than witnessing to next-door neighbors. And yet she quietly brought the gospel to 20 years' worth of tenants in a small apartment house she owned. Even so, this godly woman confided to my father that she was not sure she was one of God's chosen.
The apostle Paul knew that the Thessalonian Christians were chosen by God. He knew this because of the power of the gospel they had received with a joy that could only have come from the Holy Spirit. Paul also knew they were chosen because "the Lord's message rang out" from them as they faithfully served God in their daily living. Doubts about your own relationship with God can be set aside as you display Christ's power to save in your life through joy and obedience.
The people to whom my grandmother witnessed were probably more confident about her standing with God than she was. It's a comfort to know that as she stands before Christ today, she is free of all doubt.
Holy Spirit, remove the doubts that sometimes enter our minds about our Father's love. Give us the joy of the good news of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.