Contentment: a Form of Faith (Wed. Dec. 22)

The word of the day is “contentment.”  In our reading of 1 Timothy 5:22-6:11, St. Paul continues to instruct the young Bishop Timothy on establishing order in his congregation.  Paul especially denounces the troublemakers who think they can earn material benefit from their godliness.  Paul says that indeed, “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (vs. 6:5).  But it is not the profit that the agitators in Ephesus think it is. The word “gain” in the original Greek comes from the thought of providing for oneself (Strong’s #4200).  Thus, it refers to acquiring or gaining possession of something, such as money.  Paul notes that the congregation’s troublemakers believe that they can profit materially from their supposed godliness, piety, and devotion (Strong…

God Is Glorified in His Saints (Mon. Dec. 6)

The word of the day is “glorified .”  Today with 2 Thessalonians 1:1-10, we begin to read St. Paul’s second letter to his congregation in Thessalonica, the important crossroads of Macedonia.  The apostle writes from Ephesus in about 51 AD within months of his first letter.  But now, he refers to the “persecutions and tribulations” that his congregation is undergoing (vs. 4).  He consoles his flock in this port city that their afflictions are evidence that they are worthy of the kingdom of God, the reign of God for which they now suffer (vs. 5). St. Paul assures the faithful that God will settle accounts with their persecutors and with those who neither know Him nor obey the gospel.  God…

A Quiet Life in a Noisy Society (Wed. Dec. 1)

The word of the day is “quiet.” In our reading of 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12, St. Paul gives some practical advice for living in a world of noisy frenzy such as ours. The Apostle writes, “… that you aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands as we commanded you” (vs. 10). In Paul’s day, the city of Thessalonica was the hub of the government, politics, commerce, military, and culture of Greece. It was a multi-racial and cosmopolitan city at the crossroad of prosperous East-West and North-South trading routes. Moreover, it was a flourishing port city on the Aegean Sea. Living a Quiet Life Amid the Frenzy Imagine how turbulent life…

Serving With Tender Affection (Wed. Nov 24)

The word of the day is “affection.” In this is the season of the Nativity Fast we pray and fast to intensify our hope in the coming of our Savior in both his Advents. But are we just marking time before the Savior appears? In our reading of 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8, Paul reflects on his success among the Thessalonians. Yes, he recalls that he preached the Gospel to the Gentiles in Thessalonica.  But in our reading, the apostle discloses that he earnestly desired to give the believers something more than the Gospel. He writes, “So,  affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you, not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you…

Contentment: a Form of Faith (Wed. Dec. 9)

The word of the day is “contentment.”  In our reading of 1 Timothy 5:22-6:11, St. Paul continues to instruct the young Bishop Timothy on establishing order in his congregation.  Paul especially denounces the troublemakers who think they can earn material benefit from their godliness.  Paul says that indeed, “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (vs. 6:5).  But it is not the profit that the agitators in Ephesus think it is. The word “gain” in the original Greek comes from the thought of providing for oneself.  (Strong’s #4200). Thus, it refers to the means of acquiring or gaining possession of something, such as money.  Paul charges that the congregation’s troublemakers believe that they can profit from their godliness, supposed piety, and…

God Glorified in His Saints (Mon. Nov. 23)

The word of the day is “glorified.” Today with 2 Thessalonians 1:1-10, we begin St. Paul’s second letter to his congregation in Thessalonica, the important crossroads of Macedonia.  The Apostle writes from Ephesus in about 51 AD within months of his first letter.  But now, he refers to the “persecutions and tribulations” that his congregation is undergoing (vs. 4).  He consoles them that their afflictions are evidence that they are worthy of the kingdom of God for which they now suffer (vs. 5). On the Day of Christ’s Coming St. Paul assures the flock that God will settle accounts with their persecutors and those who neither know Him nor obey the gospel.  God’s will carry out His justice when the…

A Quiet Life in a Noisy Society (Wed. Nov. 18)

The word of the day is “quiet.” In our reading of 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12, St. Paul gives some practical advice for living in a world of noisy frenzy such as ours.  The Apostle writes, “… that you aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands as we commanded you” (vs. 10). In Paul’s day, the city of Thessalonica was the hub of the government,  politics, commerce, military, and culture of Greece.  It was a multi-racial and cosmopolitan city at the crossroad of prosperous East-West and North-South trading routes. Moreover, it was a flourishing port city on the Aegean Sea. Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World Imagine how turbulent…

The Possibility of “Good Works” (Sun. Nov. 15)

the word of the day is “works.”  In today’s reading of Ephesians 2:4-10, St. Paul proclaims the works of God’s grace on behalf of those whom He has chosen for salvation. The Apostle has already recounted the mighty works of God who raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead and seated him at His right hand.  Paul has already revealed that the Almighty has put all things under the rule of Christ who now is Head of His Body, the Church (Eph. 1:19-23). The Mighty Works of God But now St. Paul rejoices in the works of God that apply to the members of the Body of Christ.  We note that he describes them in terms of contrasts:  dead…