Labor Of Love

1 Thessalonians 1:1-6
A Changed Attitude

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The first sign that love is at work is a changed attitude. Instead
of wearisome complaining about their afflictions, the thessalonians
found "joy of the Holy Spirit" {v-6}. Not that there wasn't good reason to
complain! These young believers were ostracized at their work, hounded out
of their homes, arrested, and put in prison because of their newfound faith.
But, said Paul, they had learned to see these afflictions in a new way. They
saw them as privileges, given to them for Jesus' sake. The result was joy!
They responded to God's love by loving Him in return and welcoming the
opportunities to suffer for His name's sake.

Jesus taught us that the greatest commandment is to love the
Lord our God. But there is always something that must come before
that, something that some people don't seem to understand. God asks
us to love Him because He first loved us. When trials, pressures, and
hardships come along, we are able to see for oursleves what kind of
solution only God can work out.

The Thessalonians had stopped complaining and started
rejoicing because they saw God working through their trials.
If only we too could understand that afflictions are opportunties
for God to demonstrate His sustaining grace and show His
in our lives today, we could experience the same joy they knew.

In His Love

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