Devotion for December 22
By Bryan Chapell

So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us
(1 Thess. 2:7-8).

What does it mean to “do life” with God’s people?  The Apostle Paul explained when he wrote to the church in Thessalonica. He reminded them that he was ready to share not only the gospel but himself. 

When we “do life” with people, we seek to know them in deeper ways, to pray for needs, to forgive flaws, to share understanding of God’s Word, and to support in times of pain and joy. We weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. 

By sharing our lives as well as our words we help others sense the difference the gospel has made in our hearts, and we grow in grace by seeing the same in them – especially in the sensitive situations in one another’s lives. When we become dear to one another, we are recognizing and honoring how precious each is to God. 

We put our youngest daughter to bed every night with the words, “You are precious to us.” As she got older, she thought she didn’t need to be treated as a child so she waved off the phrase one night – until we left her room. Then, she called us back in tears. “You didn’t say it,” she cried. 

So, we said it again, and say it to this day, knowing that it is as important to share our hearts as to share our words in order to show God’s heart to all his loved ones. 

Lord, help me to share the gospel not only in the words I say, but also in the life I share with those around me.

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