I can recall it like it was yesterday, I was ten years old, it was late afternoon on a Thursday. I was watching television with my brothers and sisters when the words flashed on the screen accompanied by the announcer saying in an authoritative tone, “We interrupted this program for a special report.”
In those few moments before the most trusted man in America made an appearance, my mind raced to what news would be in this special report.
Had America been attacked? Did an airplane crash? Was the earth quaking in some far off land?
In his first letter to the Church at Thessalonica, Paul – as with the television program I was watching that day – intrigues his audience by thanking them for setting a good example. He applauds them for their conversion, and he comforts these new converts by telling them of his sincere longing to see them again.
Then in chapter 5 verse 24, near the end of the letter during his blessing and admonition, Paul interrupts his own program with this special report.
“The God who calls you is faithful, and The Lord can be trusted to make it so” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-28 The Voice).
So what is the meaning of this special report?
The first thing we can glean from this special report is God has called us to a holy calling.
2 Timothy 1: 9, from the voice translation, tells us that
God has already saved us and called us to this holy calling – not because of any good works we may have done, but because of God’s own intention, and because eons and eons ago (before time itself existed), He gave us this grace in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King.
This special report from Paul is also reminding us that God is faithful.
Jeremiah 29:11-13, from the English Standard Version, tells us this about the Lord’s faithfulness to us:
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, plans to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me seek me with all of your heart.”
Finally, this special report from Paul makes it clear that we can trust the Lord.
Psalm 37:4-6 from the English Standard Version says:
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and God will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in God, and God will act. God will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.”
We interrupted this program for a special report,
And the report is this:
God is calling us
God is faithful
And we can trust God
My Brothers and Sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think on these things – because they come from our Lord in Heaven. (Philippians 4:8 The Voice)
This has been a special report.