Since this week is Thanksgiving week.  We are going to start a series looking at the times that Paul thanks God.  Hopefully these will help us both see what we should be thankful for and how we can live in a way that this apostle of old would be thankful for us.

Romans 1:8 provides us with the first instance of Paul giving thanks (at least in terms of how the appear in our New Testament not in order written).  In these verses we see a common trait that Paul expresses his thanks to God for on several occasions.  This attribute is the visable nature of the faith of the Romans.  Paul states that their faith is known thr0ughout the world.

As the old saying goes “all roads lead to Rome.”  It was the crown jewel of the Empire and a place that people would travel to and from.  Thus the Christians at Rome had an opportunity to come in contact with disciples from across the world.  When these occurrences happened Paul says the people left a good impression.  Those in contact with Roman Christians spoke well of their faith.  Despite the problems in Rome, the church there had a good reputation.  For that Paul was thankful.

Another church with this same commendation is the Thessalonians.  Despite the persecution they faced and the barriers that could have kept them from living worthy of God’s calling, Paul found that their faith was known throughout the land, and their radical conversion serves as an example even for us today (1 Thessalonians 1:3-10).

Not only though can Paul be thankful for the faith of the churches, but he is also thankful for the faith of individuals.  Lois, Eunice, and Timothy all had a genuine faith that was worthy of Paul giving thanks to God for it (2 Timothy 1:3-7).  This is also true of Philemon who Paul states he prays to God for the faith Philemon has in the Lord.

So this week as you are giving thanks to God remember those faithful churches and faithful people who deserve to be mentioned before the throne room of our Father.  And as you go about your life live such a way that your faith is seen by others and they can thank God for you.

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