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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From Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy.

To the Thessalonians’ church that is in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace and peace to all of you.

We always thank God for all of you when we mention you constantly in our prayers. This is because we remember your work that comes from faith, your effort that comes from love, and your perseverance that comes from hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father.

1 Thessalonians 1:1-3

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Paul was a busy man. Planting one church after another he managed to accomplish a lot in such a short span of time. However, he always took the time to remember those he had served with in the past, and when it was warranted, he always thanked them and let them know how much he appreciated them. As for the church in Thessalonica, Paul was particularly appreciative of their work, effort, and perseverance, and he told them so.

Letting others know we appreciate them can be a powerful thing, because when we tell someone we appreciate them what we’re really communicating to that person is that they matter — we see them, and we want the best for them.

Of course all of us want to be appreciated, but instead of waiting for others to acknowledge our efforts, maybe we should first follow the example of Paul and reach out to those who we appreciate, letting them know why they matter to us, and maybe even sharing with them how we have come to know God better because of their example.

Chris Robertson

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God, you know how much I want others to appreciate me. You also know how often I forget to appreciate others. So please help me to do better, help me to be more appreciative. Thank you for your appreciation. Amen.

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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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