Pause

For many of us, knowing God is a matter of the mind. But really knowing God is always a matter of the heart, and that’s because God is not merely an idea we agree to, but is first and foremost an experience we share in.

This is why today and every day we must prepare ourselves to receive the gift of God before we ever say anything about God.

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Listen

The message about the Lord rang out from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia but in every place. The news about your faithfulness to God has spread so that we don’t even need to mention it. People tell us about what sort of welcome we had from you and how you turned to God from idols. As a result, you are serving the living and true God, and you are waiting for his Son from heaven. His Son is Jesus, who is the one he raised from the dead and who is the one who will rescue us from the coming wrath.

1 Thessalonians 1:8-10

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Think

Most of us know when we’re not welcome. Even when we don’t have words for it, we can feel it, and it’s a terrible feeling — because none of us wants to be left out or ignored. Unfortunately the world is full of people who know exactly how this feels. It’s as if hostility and animosity have gone viral. But the Body of Christ is called to be different; the Body of Christ is called to be a community of welcome.

Thankfully the church that Paul planted in Thessalonica, well, they got it. I’m sure there were moments when they got busy or distracted, and as a result, looked past people in need. But on most days they were described as faithful, and their faithfulness was expressed most fully and experienced most meaningfully through their welcome. The excluded were included, and those who were previously ignored were seen and known.

We too share in this calling, and we do so in order that others might come to know God and God’s welcome through us. So who are you going to welcome today?

Chris Robertson

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Pray

God, there are just some people I don’t want to welcome. So help me to be more like you and make room in my life for everybody. Thank you for your welcome. Amen.

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Go

Near the end of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus says, “Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Whoever seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door is opened.”

So may each of us keep asking and searching and knocking.

May we keep yearning, reaching, wanting, and watching for something more.

And regardless of what we’re doing or where we’re going, may we come to every moment with the expectation that God wants to know us, and we can know God.

Chris Robertson

Rev. Chris Robertson is a stay-at-home dad who spends most of his time dispensing cheerios, changing diapers, and taking long walks in the park in an attempt to get his son, Shane, to take a nap. But he also loves Jesus, books (all of them), and golf.

Wondrous Love: I Am Thine, O Lord

Mark Hayes

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