God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. (2 Thess. 2:13)

“Hello dearest!” is the greeting of a sweet sister in Christ. Each time you see her, her greeting is accompanied by a tight embrace that affirms her care and affection for you. It feels good to be thought of as special. It gives value and a precious place in one’s life.

What you believe guides how you live. Paul took time to remind the Thessalonians to be thankful for the wonderful work of salvation God had done in their lives. He wanted them to be secure in God’s perfect work. In stark contrast to the followers of the man of lawlessness, Paul described the believers as loved, chosen, saved, and set apart for and by God’s Spirit. Paul’s purpose was to provide the Thessalonians a reason to be thankful for their future destiny. He wanted to clear up any loose ends regarding the false claims they believed about the gathering. Then, he exhorted them to adhere to the truth of who they were, where they stood, what was accomplished on their behalf, and the privilege of being called “loved by the Lord.”

Just as this sister’s greeting leaves no doubt of your importance to her, her actions and words more importantly affirm the position, direction, and destiny God has given. In the same way, may we encourage others to live out the calling of God fully as his beloved.

Affirm a believer to strengthen the bonds of unity as his beloved.

Ladrienne Cage McFarland enjoys spending time with family, listening to music, VBS, crafting, and studying God’s Word.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.