For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before God.

1 Thessalonians 3: 9


As I read Paul’s prayer for the people that he cared for and taught in Thessalonica I am made aware of just how much more thankful I could be for the people that God has placed into my life. Paul has heard from Timothy about the way that these people that he left suddenly are living out their relationships with Christ. They have true faith and they operate out of God’s love. Although the Apostle desires and prays to God for the opportunity to return to them in order to continue to disciple them, Paul is thankful to God for who these new brothers and sisters are becoming as they grow in Christ.


This sort of thankfulness for the people of faith both near and far who contact my life is something that I could appreciate more than I do. As we follow Christ, God places people into our paths. Some of these people will join us on this journey of faith in various roles and settings. There will be those who demonstrate Christ and teach us God’s truth, others will be similarly influenced by our leading, and still others will simply join us along the way. God places people into our lives who encourage us and He grants us the opportunity to encourage others. The Lord provides teachers of His word to us, and grants to us the opportunity to teach others. These people are all God’s gift to me.


Lord, I ask you to help me be more mindful of these people. I desire to remember them individually and as a group. Like Paul, I want to be a person who expresses my thanks to God for the gift of people that He has given to me and that He continues to provide on a daily basis. People of faith are the true currency of the Kingdom of God. The love, grace, and mercy that they pour out constitute the tangible bounty of God’s garden. The companionship and support that they provide brings nourishment to my soul. Thank you Lord for the people of your body, and thank you brothers and sisters for your service of love to Christ.