Fruitful living through God’s Word
And then, dear brothers and sisters, you suffered persecution from your own countrymen. In this way, you imitated the believers in God’s churches in Judea who, because of their belief in Christ Jesus, suffered from their own people, the Jews. For some of the Jews killed the prophets, and some even killed the Lord Jesus. Now they have persecuted us, too. They fail to please God and work against all humanity as they try to keep us from preaching the Good News of salvation to the Gentiles. By doing this, they continue to pile up their sins. But the anger of God has caught up with them at last. 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 NLT
Part of Paul’s ministry as he and his companions proceeded to different cities bringing the message of the gospel was to encourage the believers to stand strong as they face trials and persecutions because of their faith. Believers will face hardships as God continues to prepare them to their ultimate destination; enter the Kingdom of God. “After preaching the Good News in Derbe and making many disciples, Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch of Pisidia, where they strengthened the believers. They encouraged them to continue in the faith, reminding them that we must suffer many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God” (Acts 14:21-22). Paul desires that believers experience the joy of serving God even in times of difficulties. The Word of God that provided them clarity as to what being saved is all about is also what will sustain them to live for Christ and endure suffering for the sake of the gospel. “You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:6). How we treat the Word of God reflects how deep is our regard to our relationship with God. Job regarded the Word of God more than the way he regarded food that nourishes his physical body. “I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food” (Job 23:12 ESV). The Psalmist treasured the Word of God more than what the riches this world can provide. “In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches… I will not forget your word” (Psalm 119:14, 16 ESV). The believers in Thessalonica did not only hear the Word of God, they lived their lives following the Word of God. So, let us take every opportunity to hear the Word of God and allow Him to rule our hearts living the way He wants us to live by and when we do, He promised to produce harvest through our lives. “The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” (Matthew 13:23).