Gift: Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.
Reading: For we now live, if you stand firm in the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 3:8)
Observation: I can imagine being a Christian in Thessalonia and having this letter from Paul being read to me. After it was read, I would most likely feel a bit of pressure to live up to the standard that was set by the apostle’s example. It is not much different that what I believe the saints that went before us would say to us right now. They would say that it is only when we stand firm in the faith that they feel like their lives on earth meant something, and by standing firm in the faith, we keep the saints alive in this world. We believe that they are already destined to spend eternity with God, but only the grace that we receive from God as a result of our standing firm in the faith will bring the saints to life on earth again.
Personification: Faithfulness It is only by the display of faithfulness to the Gospel that I can live out the values that were passed on to me by the saints of the past. It is necessary to adjust my actions to conform to the gifts that I am given, but always remember the example left by Jesus and his saints that came before me.
Prayer: Lord, help me to follow your will for my life, and let me see clearly the path that you laid out before me in the lives of the saints. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit. Amen.