Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 11-11-22

Intro: Today, in the United States, we celebrate Veteran’s Day; a time to honor our military veterans from all wars—over 19 million men and women have served in our military. Veteran’s Day should carry patriotic significance for every citizen. In his 1983 radio address to the nations, Ronald Regan said it perfectly, “Veterans know better than anyone else the price of freedom, for they’ve suffered the scars of war. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have won for us.”  Our veterans continue to remain loyal to honor this country and protect our freedom despite the suffering they have endured. I support and honor our veterans, seek to appreciate and bless them, and continually pray for them. If you have served this country to secure our freedom, I want to thank you! May God’s grace surround you and may His righteous right hand uphold you (Is 41:10)!

In broad terms, grace is God’s favor and activity toward humanity. As well, grace involves humanity’s responsibility to use Christ’s resources to perform our assigned and gifted service in the world to ensure freedom (Ro 13:1). Jesus was “full a grace and truth” and in Christ we can draw more and more grace from his fullness (John 1:16). We are saved by grace through faith; so our faith appropriates the grace Christ gives for salvation (Eph 2:8-9). Through grace we have the power to live the Christian life and to serve God and our neighbors. Even though we may feel weak in our flesh, grace makes us strong (2 Cor 12:7-10).

In our passage today, the Apostle Paul thanks God for the church in Thessalonica, because of their endurance to remain faithful to God despite persecution and suffering. God’s people are called to defend their faith courageously despite opposition. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Gal 5:1). Like our military’s commitment to serve this country, we are to live exemplary lives in our service to God. Jesus is our Savior who has restored our peace with God and brought us eternal freedom (Is 9:6; John 10:27-28). Let’s hold firmly to what we believe without wavering and live a life worthy of his call (Heb 4:14; 2 Thes 1;11).

2 Thessalonians 1:3-12 NLT
3 Dear brothers and sisters, we can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing. 4 We proudly tell God’s other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering. 5 And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering. 6 In his justice he will pay back those who persecute you.

7 And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with eternal destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power. 10 When he comes on that day, he will receive glory from his holy people—praise from all who believe. And this includes you, for you believed what we told you about him.

11 So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. 12 Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Lord, today I pray a special blessing over our veterans. Thank you for the courage and grace you have placed within them to serve and protect the cause of freedom. May we, as a country, honor their devotion to One Nation Under God! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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