Wednesday, March 22, 2023

God Will Not Overlook Even the Smallest Effort

Today I wore my holy ("hole-y") shirt to the gym. I've had it for years. I should probably throw it away but I can't bring myself to do that. 

Earlier I studied 1 Thess. 4:1 in my morning Bible time at Bo's. 

As I read, an idea began forming in my subconscious mind. I let it surface and examined it. Here's what I discovered. 

You don't have to have mastered New Testament Greek to please Jesus. 

You see, the brilliant thing with these new Thessalonian believers is that a start had been made with a life that pleases God. The Thessalonians were already pleasing him. Paul says so, right here: "Now then, dear brothers and sisters, we urge and exort you in the Lord Jesus that, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more." Paul's 3-week mission in Thessalonica had begun a church, and these former pagans in that city had made their start. 

Greek student: Have you done that? Are you on the way to doing that -- making a start with New Testament Greek -- however tentatively, however anxiously, however imperfectly? Have we taken that first step? If we have, then we are already pleasing to God! That's so encouraging. What a joy as a student to wake up every morning and say, "How can I please God in my studies today?" Paul is overwhelmed with thanksgiving that his new friends in Thessalonica have begun so well. Now he says, maintain and increase the impetus. "Are you pleasing God?" he asks. "Yes," he says, "and I am so grateful for that. Now you must do this more and more."

As students of Greek, let that be our motivation. "I want to please God more and more in my studies." Becoming a serious student of the Bible is a process, not a step. You start off with the alphabet and then you gradually become more and more proficient in the language. It is a long process. It is a lifelong process. But, says Paul, that's God will for us. That is what pleases him. He will not overlook even the smallest effort.