I Thessalonians 2:19

Or what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.

As I read this verse, it occurred to me that Paul is talking about investment here – investing in people. Won’t it be wonderful when we are in heaven, before the Lord Jesus, to see the fruit of those you have invested in for life and godliness and for eternity? It will be great joy!

I Thessalonians 1:3

We continually 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.

What first caught my attention in this verse, were the words at the end of it…endurance inspired by hope. What causes us to continue on in life, in ministry, in relationships when things seem unbearable? We endure because we have hope in Jesus Christ. What fuels that hope? I believe the answer is found in vs. 4…for we know, brothers loved by God… Brothers loved by God – we believe that God loves us, helps us, and guides us in those unbearable times. Being loved by God is what inspires hope in us to endure.

Colossians 4:18

I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

Grace be with you… I have studied grace for a number of years, and have put together a definition of God’s grace: the unearned, undeserved, spontaneous friendship and love of God, which He delights to share with the believer. So when Paul says, “Grace be with you”, if we insert the definition here, the verse would read, “As you go through your days, remember that the unearned spontaneous friendship and love of God goes with you”. Be delighted. Find pleasure in it and share His grace generously with others, as He has shared generously with you.

Colossians 3:12-15

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

None of us would consider going out into the world naked. We clothe ourselves for the tasks of the day – old clothes for gardening, nicer clothes for church and parties, and serviceable clothes for grocery shopping and running errands. How many of us, though, leave the house (often) without our spiritual clothes. God chose us to be holy. He chose us to love. He chose us to represent Christ in the world. Let us not forget to dress ourselves with tender hearted mercy, with kindness, with humility, with gentleness, with patience, and above all – with love.