DEVOTION:THIS IS THE DIFFERENCE MAKER

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In addition to listing the qualities of a genuine believer, Paul gives us insight on what made the difference in not only the salvation of the believers in Thessalonica, but also the cause for complete transformation.

 

For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. 1 Thessalonica 1:4-5

 

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What was the difference maker according to Paul? Take note of his explanation.

 

Because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power”‘

 

The Apostle Paul does not credit his experience in preaching the gospel. He does not assume this happened because he was an Apostle sent to the gentiles. Neither does he credit his eloquence nor his knowledge of the Scriptures.  Instead, he says, their presentation of the gospel to these believers was accompanied by the power of God. And this was the difference maker.

What kind of power is this? The following passage will help explain this power.

 

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8

 

Notice how this was true for Paul and his companions when they preached in Thessalonica.

Because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.

 

The Apostles could not have preached the gospel with their own strength or their knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. In spite of their experience with our Lord for three years, they still needed a supernatural power to be able to preach the good news to the world.

Paul understood the secret of success in this kingdom business. He knew that it is the power of God that changes lives. He also knew that without this supernatural power, he would not be able to preach. Carefully read his prayer request to the Christians in Ephesus.

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:19-20 

 

For the preacher to present the gospel effectively and for the message to transform lives, it must be with the power of God. This is the difference maker.

 

APPLICATION:

1.     Have you heard a message that at the end you said, “I am not sure what happened? But the message was very dry”? If a preacher preaches only with logic and great eloquence without the power of God, the message will definitely be dry.

 

2.     We are in an age where people are looking for entertainment. People are looking

for preachers who will make them feel good after listening to the message so that they can come back for more good feeling. But the feel good messages do not transform lives.

 

3.     Every one of us should seek the empowerment from God to enable us to preach or share the gospel with the lost. Even the mere boldness to preach comes from God. Read again Paul’s request for prayer.

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:19-20 

 

4.     Pray for your pastor that God will empower him to preach with boldness so that his messages will transform lives. If Paul the Apostle needed prayer, imagine how much more your pastor needs it?

 

5.     It is sad that there are some pulpits today that are void of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. Then one wonders, how are they doing this kingdom business? Or the real question is this? Are they still preaching the true gospel?

The gospel can be preached with eloquence

It can be preached with great logic

It may be preached with clarity

Yes! All these are necessary

But it cannot be preached

Without this one thing

Empowerment by

The Holy Spirit

For

THIS IS THE DIFFERENCE MAKER

By Pastor Shadrack Ruto

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