Good afternoon, it is 5:30pm as I write this. We have had a busy day which was coupled with an early start to the day. We woke up at 6:00am and began our study of 1 Thessalonians at 6:30am. We observed two themes that emerged from the opening paragraphs of 1 Thessalonians. First, as Paul imitated Jesus Christ, the Thessalonian Christians, likewise imitated him. As they imitated him, believers in Macedonia and Achaia imitated them. We were challenged from this pattern to live markedly different lives from the pattern of this world so that the world observes a difference in our lives and in our attitudes such that they have someone to imitate. As Christians, we must guard against imitating the world. If Jesus had imitated Paul and Paul had imitated the Thessalonians (pre-conversion), there would be no gospel that had the power to save.
The second thing which we observed in the text is that the gospel not only saves us from the wrath to come but it saves us unto serving the living God. Salvation in this sense is a two-sided coin. We are saved from sin and death. We are saved to do good works.
After breakfast of cereal and fruit, we boarded our bus and headed to the Carmen Bajo neighbourhood. Between our bus and a second bus, we picked up about 50 teenagers and drove about 1.5 hours to a retreat centre in the lush, green mountains.
We ran a youth event in this centre. Here, our students shared the gospel. Some shared their testimonies of how Jesus Christ had saved them and how he was now sanctifying them to be more like him. Others shared Bible stories which pointed the teenagers to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Amidst the proclamation of the gospel, we sang songs of praise to God in Spanish.
I am glad to say that today, the gospel sounded forth in word, in power, in conviction and with the Holy Spirit.