Tag Archives: 2 Thessalonians

2 Kings 3; 2 Thessalonians 3; Daniel 7; Psalms 114, 115

But the Lord is faithful and will give you strength and will protect you from the Evil One. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 (NCV)

God is absolute in the performance His actions. He is always true to His promises. His affections are constant. He can always be trusted and believed because He is always reliable. He always adheres to the truth, always upholds His standard. He is the ultimate picture of faithfulness.

And in that faithfulness to His people, He promises strength and protection. He can be trusted completely to be there in times of struggle, in times of need. And this has held true since the beginning of time, holds true today, and will hold true until the end of days.

Time and time again throughout history God has proven His faithfulness to mankind. One example of that demonstration is when the kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom went out to fight the Moabites. They began to give up hope when they ran out of supplies, ran out of water. But they called upon the Lord. He spoke to them through Elisha, and gave them instructions to follow in order to win the battle. The Lord was with the kings, and the Moabites were defeated. The miraculous works He accomplished were “easy for the Lord to do” (2 Kings 3:18).

In my vision at night I saw in front of me someone who looked like a human being coming on the clouds in the sky. He came near God, who has been alive forever, and he was led to God. He was given authority, glory, and the strength of a king. People of every tribe, nation, and language will serve him. His rule will last forever, and his kingdom will never be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14 (NCV)

The ultimate example of His faithfulness is Christ’s work on the cross. The greatest act of love, giving all of Himself to reestablish the connection broken by the fall, enables me to be in relationship with Heavenly Father. This humble act, full of grace and mercy, once and for all defeated the enemy of my life and opened the doors of my heart to be filled with His Spirit, with His glory.

You who respect the Lord should trust him;

he is your helper and your protection.

The Lord remembers us and will bless us.

He will bless the family of Israel;

he will bless the family of Aaron.

The Lord will bless those who respect him,

from the smallest to the greatest. Psalm 115:11-13 (NCV)

From even before I was formed in my mother’s womb, God’s faithfulness toward me was ever present. While I was still a sinner, He was unrelenting in His goodness (Romans 5:6-11). As I have believed in Him, He continues to remember me, to bless me abundantly, to strengthen me and protect me. His mercies are new every morning, His grace is sufficient, and His love is everlasting (Lamentations 3:22-24; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 8:31-39).

Not for our sake, God, no, not for our sake,

but for your name’s sake, show your glory.

Do it on account of your merciful love,

do it on account of your faithful ways.

Do it so none of the nations can say,

“Where now, oh where is their God?” Psalm 115:1-2 (MSG)

Yesappa, Thank You for Your faithfulness, Your steadfastness in my life. Show me Your glory and Your goodness every moment of each day. Give me Your strength, Your grace, Your mercy. Protect me from the assignments of the enemy, replace my fears with Your love and Your peace. Rule my life – my whole heart, my whole mind, my whole being – always, so that I am able to serve You forever. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan, India)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

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Filed under 2 Kings, 2 Thessalonians, 66 Books, Daniel, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms

Leviticus 13; Psalms 15, 16; Proverbs 27; 2 Thessalonians 1

As water reflects your face, so your mind shows what kind of person you are. Proverbs 27:19 (NCV)

That is why we always pray for you, asking our God to help you live the kind of life he called you to live. We pray that with his power God will help you do the good things you want and perform the works that come from your faith. We pray all this so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ will have glory in you, and you will have glory in him. That glory comes from the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (NCV)

One of the difficulties I have living as a missionary in a foreign land, a life allocated to God’s work, is the concern that I am not living up to expectations. Am I living the life that I was truly called to live? Am I doing the right things? Am I doing enough? Is God being glorified or am I seeking glory for myself? Are my own desires for the life I wish for in line with the plan that God has for my life?

Sometimes I wonder if I am really walking in His will because my will so often screams out to be heard. In the midst of the day to day struggles, my emotions, my frustrations too often take the center stage. My attitude reflects self, instead of Spirit. The smog of my own darkness seems to get in the way of His Light, His Glory, and in those moments, I am forced to question whether I am able to be an effective reflection of the love and compassion of Christ.

Sometimes I realize right away that the attitude I am projecting is not Christ within me; sometimes it takes much longer for me to repent. But I know that God’s grace and mercy for my human failings are still demonstrated every day. And I am grateful, because in spite of it all, I may be the only evidence of God’s love, the only manifestation of His presence that the people I meet acknowledge today. I may be the only Bible someone reads.

I praise the Lord because he advises me. Even at night, I feel his leading. I keep the Lord before me  always. Psalm 16:7-8a (NCV)

I am grateful that He chose me. I am grateful that He is the One who gives me the ability to walk through this gift of life. I am grateful that He equips me for everything He has called me to. He guides me, teaches me, and He directs my path. He has saved me and made me worthy to be His reflection.

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Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India (written in the U.S.A.)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Filed under 2 Thessalonians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Leviticus, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Proverbs, Psalms

Psalms 119:89-176; 2 Thessalonians 1

The things that stand out to me about Psalm 119: delighting in God’s laws, persecution, justice.

The things that stand out to me about 2 Thessalonians 1: persecution, justice, honoring God.

I’ve felt guilty for ever feeling persecuted … seemed my trials in comparison to those who suffered for Christ were light. But having Old Testament and New Testament side by side, the psalmist suffers alongside Christ-followers suffering. Both of them are fixed on God, regardless of the cause of being hated. Isn’t that what persecution is? A quick check on meaning mentions harassment, annoyance–but to me, the root bears resemblance to hatred toward those (especially) who differ in origin, religion, or social outlook.

Hatred towards those who differ.

I remember a situation where I felt persecuted. But because I was operating on hunch rather than fact, I tried over and over to believe the best regarding those involved. It was hard. Months later, I discovered the truth of it all–the details more wounding than I ever imagined. I cried out to God, “Why did you have me believe the best about it!? It wasn’t the truth. I never would have (blessed them) if I had known!”

His answer, still, quiet, “I know.”

11 So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. 12 Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 NLT.

In the end, I am responsible for how I act regardless of how others behave. This dialogue with God revealed to me many things about myself, about pain, about hatred. I’m thankful he spared me the details early, so I could claim kindness in his strength, rather than spite in my own.

This is love, this is hate … we’ve got a choice to make.

Father, your love amazes me. Please enable me, daily, to live a life worthy of your call.

Courtney (66books365)

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2 Thessalonians 1-3

Scripture:

2 Thessalonians 1:1-12,  Paul, and Silvanus, and Timothy, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ; Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We are bound to give thanks to God always to you, brethren, even as it is meet, for that your faith growth exceedingly, and the love of each one of you all toward one another aboundeth; so that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions which ye endure; which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God; to the end that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: if so be that it is righteous thing with God to recompense affliction to them that afflict you, and to you that are afflicted rest with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire, rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus: who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be marvelled at in all them that believed (because our testimony unto you was believed) in that day. To which end we also pray always for you, that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfil every desire of goodness and everywork of faith, with power; that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (American Standard Version)

Observation:

Paul calls the church in Thessalonica a model in his first letter to them. In the passage above and especially the bolded italicized section you see Paul’s burning love and pride for this church. They suffered for the gospel in ways that we have a hard time comprehending. What is fascinating is these first century Christ-followers were counted worthy to suffer. We usually think of suffering coming because of wrong-doing and sin, not as a privilege. What a revolutionary thought. I am taking a bit of license here to include a 21st century example of this attitude. During this past Thanksgiving weekend Pastor Matt Chandler was diagnosed with a brain tumor that was operated on last week.  You can click on the following link and hear his words for being counted worthy of his trials he is going through. This is as recent as just a couple of days ago. (http://fm.thevillagechurch.net/blog/hvpastor/)

Application:

Do you, do I think of suffering or trials being something we can be worthy of? I think of the things I am struggling with right this minute — situations in my life that have been with me for over 30 years — do I see them as something God has brought my way because I’m worthy? Because I’ve been a model and now He can trust me to be a model through this struggle? If you’re like me, you will shy away from looking at it from that perspective.  And yet there it is! So I think what we need to do is search our own hearts, is it sin or is it because of worthiness? Only you can ascertain that. It gives me much food for thought in these waning days of 2009. Perhaps I’ve missed the whole point in some of these situations.

Prayer:

Father God help us all to be worthy of the suffering you bring our way. Help us to know what it is — sin, or privilege — that puts us in the situations we find ourselves in at the moment. We want to be models for You like the church in Thessalonica was. Help us to be those models to a watching world. We love you Father. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!

dmbaldwin

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