Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 1Thessalonians 2:9
What image does the word “church” bring to your mind? Many people say a building with a steeple and glowing stained glass windows. God paints quite a different picture through the New Testament authors. In our new series, THE CHURCH, we’ll explore the imagery of the church as a family, human body, beautiful bride and holy temple. God shows us the church is living, breathing and sacred.
We start this series with Paul’s first letter to new Christians in Thessalonica. Paul preached the gospel at the temple on his first missionary journey, and many Jews believed. But others felt threatened and started a riot. The new believers got him out of town at night (Acts 17), but Paul hated leaving them behind because they were now his family. He writes to them as brothers and sisters in the family of God.
Earthly families can be complicated—and not always loving. But God’s family is different. We’re adopted through the sacrificial love of Jesus, who died for us. When we accept that gift, God’s family offers us unconditional love, spiritual growth and a home for eternity.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Begin the week by praying, “God help me see and experience you as my good Father and the church as my family. Help my understanding of what that means to deepen and grow—and transform the way I see others and myself. Amen.”
2022 BIBLE MEMORY PRACTICE
Develop spiritual roots and tap in the power of God’s word by memorizing monthly a Bible verse! View previous verses at beyondtheweekend.org/biblememorypractice.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.