April 28, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"We are bound to thank God for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith grows exceedingly." 2 Thessalonians 1:3
How exciting it was for Paul to write this second letter to the Christians in Thessalonica. In their infant spiritual state, he commends them for their faith that had grown exceedingly. They were more intense in laying hold of the truth, more aggressive in appropriating the truth into their daily lives, and more observant that the truth was effective in the whole of their lives. As I thought about the tremendous growth they experienced and their testimony, I realized that this can be true in our lives as well, if we are willing to abandon ourselves to the Lord and let Him work in and through us for His glory. They had a hunger and thirst for truth and the Living Lord.
Why did they respond with such abandonment to the Lord? They made a choice: They could be overcome and defeated by the tremendous persecution and trials they faced in their newfound faith...or they could embrace the truth and fix their faith on Him who is invisible, and make Christ the focus of their life. As they dared to trust, their child-like faith began to grow, and they exercised more faith, claiming more of what the Lord had for them. Not resting in what God had done for them, they used that as a springboard to trust Him for even greater things He wanted to do through them. There was before them "acres of diamonds to be claimed." Their faith was an encouragement and a challenge throughout Greece. It was a faith born through the fires of adversity and trials. They had drawn from the well of everlasting water whose spring never goes dry. From their innermost being flowed "rivers of living water."
When we moved to the San Joaquin Valley in California, I was amazed at the lack of trees. Coming from the South, I was used to trees everywhere. I was told that up until 1935, the whole valley, 100 miles wide and 500 miles long, was nothing but a vast desert. Because of the intense heat and no rain from March to October, there was very little vegetation or trees. It was simply desolate, dry, and unproductive. Then I asked, "What happened?" President Roosevelt enacted a law for the irrigation of this vast wasteland. They built dams in the Sierra Mountains to store the melted snow of the winter. They planned strategic concrete waterways to carry the water throughout this vast desert area. The water was siphoned to the countless farms throughout the valley. Today, the San Joaquin Valley is the "breadbasket of the world." It is the most productive and richest area for vegetables, fruit, nuts, and cotton in the world! All that was needed was WATER. They found the Source of their need-life-giving water!
Unbelief is like the desert of our being. Life is there, but it is dormant, dry, desolate, unfruitful, and for all practical purposes, useless. Until we come to the source of our strentgh--the "Fountain of Living Waters," the "refreshing springs of God"--our lives will be unproductive. When by faith we draw from "God's Everlasting Spring," there will blossom forth from our lives the fruit of the Spirit that will not only make our stand steadfast, but will be an effective channel of blessing to the vast desert of thirsty souls everywhere...the out-living of the indwelling Life of Christ.
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-04-28
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