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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | 2 Thessalonians 2:13–17           

But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter.

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word. (NRSV)

Oftentimes when I was growing up my parents would need to reiterate to me the things they had instilled in my siblings and me at a young age: “Be kind, always try your best, and know that we are proud of you no matter what.” In this passage, Paul is writing to the Thessalonians to remind them what God has laid out for them to do, that even though Jesus had come and offered a new way of living, it did not mean that they should do away with the old way of living, which required hard work.

I believe we all need to be held accountable often as Christians to what it is that we are here to do. We can all get caught up in our day-to-day lives, and so we need a letter like the one Paul has written to remind us of what we are instructed to do daily: share God’s glory. I know that for me if I go a couple weeks without being in the Word or without being in daily prayer, I feel it. It is easy to fall off track and feel comfortable in other forms of hobbies and interests, but God calls us to remember why we are here. Let us all establish this day with “every good word and work.”

Lord, this day is the day you have made for me. I will approach it with my own ideas of how I will go about it, but help me to remember that I am to approach it with the traditions you have taught me. Help the path be clear today so that I may always see your work. Amen.

Written by Ashley Elskus, Director, Center for Life and Learning

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