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“For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that … we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11).

I recently saw a picture labeled “motivation.” It was of a man racing up the hill on his bicycle with a bear not far behind him. A doctor’s diagnosis might motivate a man who rarely leaves his couch to exercise and eat healthier. A death of a loved one often motivates people to read their Bibles and obey the gospel. So, what motivates Christians to persevere in their faith over the long haul of life? It’s one thing to know that we should live for Christ and not ourselves—how many lessons must we hear about this over the course of a lifetime? It’s quite another to wake up each morning eager to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness. How do find the daily excitement to hit the ground running in our Christian walk? The answer, God tells the Thessalonian Christians, is to truly realize that we were destined for wrath but saved by the gospel to give us the promise of eternal life. Are you encouraging and building others up with these words?

Doug Kashorek
Plattsburgh church of Christ
Plattsburgh, NY

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