“Pivotal circumstances” are those events, situations, encounters in your life that proved to be a real turning point. And, since we are talking about spiritual issues, these pivotal circumstances somehow served as catalysts of change or impetuses for increased faith.
I suppose the first of those circumstances in my life were the investments of Mrs. Shook. She came to our public school and offered Bible teaching. She challenged us to memorize Scripture passages. Although she made the gospel clear, it did not yet fully resonate in my life.
Later, though, when I was 14, a neighbor clearly shared the message of Jesus with me. The Spirit of God convinced me of my need for the Savior. On that day, I was born again. A new magnetic north was established in my life; one from which I still take my compass readings today.
God used Paul’s preaching of the gospel to have a similar turning point impact on those in Thessalonica. As a result of their encounter with the person of Christ and the message of the gospel, these men and women:
- Turned from idol worship (v. 9)
- Had begun to serve the living God (v. 9)
- Demonstrated service characterized by faith, hope, and love (v. 3)
- Grew in Christlikeness (v. 6)
- Lived exemplary lives (v. 7)
- Proclaimed Christ in surrounding areas (v. 8)
- Waited expectantly for the return of Jesus (v. 10)
To be sure, their lives were radically different as a result of hearing the gospel. Because of the grace of God, they would never be the same.
If you’ve ever been present for a baptism celebration at Grace Church, you’ve heard some of the stories of people who have encountered Jesus and who have been changed forever. I trust you will listen with great fascination as God is honored!
When, where, through whom did you hear the gospel of Jesus? How is your life different as a result? Whether you were 4, 34, or 84 when it happened, God has designed for it to be a pivotal circumstance in your life!