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Instruments of the Gospel

by on April 17, 2013

…because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.

1 Thessalonians 1:5

As I am writing this thought on this week’s verse, in the background from my computer are the sounds of a Mozart Piano concerto (#26). If you were to look at a page of music from this piece you would see notes, maybe printed in black ink, on a white piece of paper. To the trained eye they may begin to create a tune in their imagination, but for some of us they would remain no more enchanting then if someone randomly copied a bunch of notes on the page. However, when these printed musical fonts are put before a trained pianist and accomplished orchestra what results is intense, complicated, yet satisfying and beautiful music. It is the human touch with the work of the author that brings life to the music.

The message of salvation in Christ appears likewise as printed fonts on white paper, handed down from the original authors to us. What makes them so different than any other piece of ‘religious’ writing that also has been handed down for centuries? Our verse for this week tells us what is unique; there is divine power behind these words, there is active work by the Holy Spirit in applying them, and there are human lives genuinely changed who are sharing the truth of the words. It is only because the words of the Gospel are genuinely and powerfully God’s words that they can change a life.

Paul and the apostles were actively aware that while they were not the source of the power, in the hand of the author their lives were making a difference. He reminds the Thessalonians ‘you know how we lived among you’. How did he live among them? Read through 1 Thessalonians 2 and you will see that Paul was like ‘a mother caring for her children’, always serving, always giving, always loving. God has placed you among those who need to both hear and see the message of grace, and when they do, it will be beautiful and life changing. It is the power, the Spirit and the grace that bring a miracle of new life from those who encounter the simple message of Christ’s sacrifice for sin. It is our privilege be an instrument that can be used, if we are willing to share that message and our lives.

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