Wednesday, December 27
In our men’s Bible study, we studied D.A. Carson’s analysis of Paul’s prayer in 2 Thes. 1:1-12. He noted that Paul looked for signs of grace in the Christians that he was addressing. Paul didn’t do that to verify their salvation; that was assumed. His purpose was to recognize their spiritual growth. Besides encouraging them, it would motivate them to make further progress. As Peter said in 2 Peter 1, spiritual progress is a work of God, but we need to put out effort, too. Paul uses the word “grace” and agrees with Peter that it calls for effort on our part. The progress noted by Paul prompted him to thank God for God’s work in their lives. What a lesson that is for us! We need to look for “signs of grace” in our fellow Christians, thank God for it, encourage them by commending them for it, challenge them to make further progress, and to pray to that end. Why not pick a fellow Christian and start today. Maybe you could start with me. I need it.