One of my spiritual mentors is a man named Dave. He was a Young Life leader who always spoke the truth in love to me. We are still great friends, and he continues to motivate and inspire me in my faith out of his wisdom and grace and his reminders of God’s amazing, faithful love for me.
Who is your spiritual mentor? Surely one reason you love and respect that person is because of their words of encouragement. Such words affirm us, and give us hope—that we can endure hardship and not grow weary, and can experience peace amidst pain.
- Have you been encouraged in your faith recently?
- What were you inspired to do as a result?
READ THE WORD: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4 (ESV)
1:1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.4 Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.
- What are the verbs Paul used to describe the faith and love of the Christians in Thessalonica?
- Why did Paul say he boasted about these Christians to the other churches of God?
- Why was this encouragement from Paul so timely? What situation were they facing?
- Which of your current struggles or afflictions is a result of being a Christian? How so?
- How would affirmation from a spiritual mentor impact your conviction or resolve to persevere, despite those afflictions?
RESPOND TO GOD
Paul’s reminder of God’s grace and peace for the Thessalonians encourages us because we are recipients of the same. We have been given God’s unmerited favor because of Christ’s death on the cross. And because of Jesus, we have been given peace with God, and can experience the peace of God. When we trust God for his grace and peace, our faith in him grows, and so does our love for others.
We are encouraged to persevere in holiness, despite affliction or persecution. And we become able to pass on that same encouragement to others.
- Thank the Lord for his grace and peace today, and receive them in their fullest measure.
- Pray that God would help you grow in faith and love today in some specific way or relationship.