For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 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. You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia – your faith on God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it
1 Thessalonians 1:4-8a
Have you ever had one of those moments where you were planning on doing something, but it was going to make for a rather busy day, but when the time came you did it anyway – and were so glad you did? I had a moment like that today. Having been in the city all day for my WA Youth Orchestra concert, I had originally planned to head from there to the Salvation Army Divisional Meeting, being held at Floreat. I’d pictured the concert finishing around 5.30pm, and with the service starting at 6, it would be tight getting there. I ended up saying to people that I probably wouldn’t make it – it was just too complicated, making my life too busy. However, when the concert finished closer to 5pm than 5.30pm, I figured I could get to the Corps with plenty of time to spare. So I did.
It was a fantastic service, with the Floreat Songsters singing a couple of songs, the Perth Fortress Brass Band and Contemporary Worship band providing the rest of the music, and a fantastic message. It was based on the reading above, and spoke wonderfully to me. And when we sang Holy Spirit, Rain Down as a prayer after the sermon, I was just filled with the Holy Spirit, to overflowing. A wonderful, encouraging embrace, sent by my Lord to let me know that he has chosen me – and that he has big plans for me. And while sometimes I may not be able to see those plans, when I know that they’re in his hands, nothing can go wrong. All I have to do is have the courage to follow him.
Tomorrow I start a challenge – To read the Bible from cover to cover in 90 days. This will be a challenge for me – I have never read the bible like this before, and there are books of the bible that I’ve never looked at. There will be parts that are going to be challenging – I know I will find Leviticus tough, and all the x begat y business will be a struggle to get through, but there will be other parts that will challenge me through their message and I look forward to that. But I know that in this, God will bless me richly – as he has done my entire life. It’s not too late to join me, sign up!