Today’s Bible readings can be found here: Jeremiah 27:1-11 and 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10.

1 Thessalonians 1:3 “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (NIV)

                In every church that exists, 20% of the members usually end up doing 80% of the work. Their commitment to Christ and the congregation is a wonderful gift to the faith community. The hours, days, weeks, months, and years of service make a huge difference in the life, ministry, and mission of the entire congregation. Whether it comes from elders or deacons, team leaders or volunteers, their gifts of time, talents, and resources are both essential to the continuing work of the church, as well as being an effective witness of God’s presence, care, and love.

                When the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Thessalonica, he wanted to commend them for their faithful, loving, and hopeful service to Christ. They were dedicated to spreading the Gospel and also devoted to the well-being of their people. They supported other churches with their gifts and exemplified what it meant to be a Christian in their own community. Paul’s positive words would have encouraged them to be and do even better for the Lord. His commendations were powerful and have been so effective that the churches still survive in the area after more than nineteen hundred years!

                Every one of us who belongs to a church has both the potential and opportunity to faithfully and effectively serve God through the ministries and missions, projects and programs our congregations undertake. All we have to do is personally volunteer and cheerfully give of ourselves, our time, and our resources to build up the church and make our world a better place.

Point to ponder:  Am I willing to give my church more of my time and resources? Am I waiting to be asked or ready to volunteer on my own?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, as Christians we are Your hands and feet, hearts and voices in the world today. Help us to see where our gifts and time could be used effectively in our faith communities. Grant us opportunities to serve You through Your body, the Church. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s early psalm drawings based on a verse from Psalm 85. If you would like to view a larger version, please click here.