December 8, 2020 Our Daily Bread Devotional : Topic – On the Same Team
Bible in a Year:
Encourage one another and build each other up : 1 Thessalonians 5:11
The apostle Paul wrote the book of 1 Thessalonians to the young church in Thessalonica, a Roman colony. Thessalonica was the largest and most important city in Macedonia and the province’s capital. Because of its fine harbor, central location, and access to many roads, the city enjoyed flourishing trade. First Thessalonians was probably one of Paul’s first letters, written around ad 51 or 52 from Corinth. Only two or three years earlier, Paul, accompanied by Silas, had visited Thessalonica during his second missionary journey and established the church there. According to Acts 17:1–4, Paul taught there for just “three Sabbaths” before opposition forced him to flee the city. Paul penned this letter to encourage the new believers in their faith and to assure them of Christ’s return.
Message : When Philadelphia Eagle’s quarterback Carson Wentz returned to the field after healing from a severe injury, the NFL team’s backup quarterback, Nick Foles, graciously returned to the bench. Although competing for the same position, the two men chose to support each other and remained confident in their roles. One reporter observed that the two athletes have a “unique relationship rooted in their faith in Christ” shown through their ongoing prayers for each other. As others watched, they brought honor to God by remembering they were on the same team—not just as Eagles quarterbacks, but as believers in Jesus representing Him.
The apostle Paul reminds believers to live as “children of the light” awaiting Jesus’ return (1 Thessalonians 5:5–6). With our hope secure in the salvation Christ has provided, we can shrug off any temptations to compete out of jealousy, insecurity, fear, or envy. Instead, we can “encourage one another and build each other up” (v. 11). We can respect spiritual leaders who honor God and “live in peace” as we serve together to accomplish our shared goal—telling people about the gospel and encouraging others to live for Jesus (vv. 12–15).
As we serve on the same team, we can heed Paul’s command: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (vv. 16–18).
Reflect & Pray
Who has encouraged you while serving on the same team? How can you encourage someone who serves alongside you?
Jesus, please give me opportunities today to encourage someone who serves with me.