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Thursday, August 30, 2001

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1 Thessalonians 3:7-13
Psalm 90
Matthew 24:42-51

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"May God Himself, Who is our Father, and our Lord Jesus make our path to you a straight one!" —1 Thessalonians 3:11

When Paul had preached in Thessalonica, many accepted Jesus as the Messiah, while some were resentful (Acts 17:5). These started a riot, tried to murder Paul and Silas (Acts 17:5ff), and even pursued Paul to Beroea in order to kill him (Acts 17:13).

A few short years later, Paul prayed "fervently night and day" that he would return to Thessalonica and remedy any shortcomings in their faith (1 Thes 3:10). Why would Paul pray to return to a city where so many people wanted to kill him? Paul was courageous and willing to risk his life because:

  • The love of Christ impelled him (2 Cor 5:14).
  • He knew that the Thessalonians' growth in their faith was so important it was worth risking his life.
  • Paul had forgiven the Thessalonians who had tried to kill him.
  • Paul believed Jesus would raise him from the dead (1 Cor 15:30ff).

In courageous love, would you go back to a city where your enemies would like to kill you? How deeply is love and faith affecting your movements? Are you forgiving and free? Is the Lord calling you to return to a dangerous place? If so, go back.

Prayer:  "May the Lord increase you and make you overflow with love for one another and for all, even as our love does for you. May He strengthen your hearts, making them blameless and holy before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His holy ones" (1 Thes 3:12-13).

Promise:  "Stay awake, therefore! You cannot know the day your Lord is coming." —Mt 24:42

Praise:  When Sarah went home for the holidays, she would courageously defend the faith in which she and her siblings had been raised.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, February 13, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 20, 2001