‘For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?’ 1 Thessalonians 2.19
Throughout the letter of 1 Thessalonians, we have glimpses of just how much joy this church brought to Paul. However, it is interesting that when Paul’s time in Thessalonica was described in Acts 17, it hardly seemed to be a time of great peace and love with the city. Most of this account is a description of a riot that took place there! Yet despite the riot and the reception Paul received, it is amazing what God was able to bring about from Paul’s short time there; a church was founded that grew and became a real blessing.
The point is this: when we look at the effects of what we do in the name of Jesus, we are probably the worst judges. Unless there are immediate results, we wonder if we have wasted our time. Yet what counts is not what we see but what God does through us - whether or not we are aware of it.
Today you may well do many things in the name of Jesus - possibly praying for someone or reaching out to help a needy person. The effectiveness of your actions is not about what happens there and then, but rather is all about what God is able to do and sow through what you do.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission