Week 7: Friday Five (2 Thess. 1)

Originally, I was turned onto this mode of carrying out the “Five Minute Friday,” by a dear friend. Marie faithfully carries out this Friday series, on her own blog. The idea is to offer five bold points, that you may read within five minutes.

Five Truths on 2 Thessalonians 1

(1) As we continue to follow Jesus Christ, we are kept safe (1:1). This is perhaps one of the greatest treasures I have found. As a woman, I crave protection. So to know that my Jesus, my King, is protecting me and keeping me safe – is comforting beyond words! It makes me okay with the difficult days, when I stop long enough to realize I am being protected and kept safe by the King of Kings!

. . . To: The church of Thessalonica—kept safe in God our Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ (1:1, TLB).

(2) We are given rich blessings, which are found through our relationship with Jesus (1:2). In my digital Bible, it is translated a bit differently which helps to understand the Bible more clearly. Because of God the Father and our Lord Jesus, we have been given rich blessings and peace-filled hearts and minds (1:2b, TLB).

Does it get any better? In the world we live in, peace – filled hearts and minds are one of the greatest gifts we can be given. In a day where our minds and hearts run like they are on a treadmill all night long, the peace Jesus gives is enduring and ever-loving!

(3) We have the opportunity to do three specific things based on the knowledge of those God has placed in our path, who continue to be an encouragement to our faith (1:3-4). We can pray for them, share with others about lessons we are learning through their example, and give thanks.

Each of these things are growing points for me. I believe they are for each of us. We live in a “me first” world, which causes us to forget or neglect others, their faith, and the privilege of praying for them or sharing things we learn through their example.

(4) God can use our sufferings to make us ready for His Kingdom (1:5-6). This set of verses will cause us to give James 1 a second chance, where we are urged to count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4, NKJV).

We need to trust that God will use our sufferings for His ultimate good. He is preparing us for something greater. His Kingdom is worthy of our suffering (see Prov. 3:5-6; Rom. 8:18).

(5) As we face suffering, God will provide us with quality rest through Jesus’ second coming (1:7, 10). As we come into His Kingdom, we will forever know God as He honestly is – with no holding back. 

One day, we will stand in His presence and will never again be distracted by the circumstances we are facing or the things of this world. We will stand in His presence in utter awe and overwhelmed with joy. We will be fully satisfied in the Lord.

Advertisements

Sunday Strength: Hitting Reset

Sunday Strength

Wanna know my favorite part about the beginning of a new week? The ability to hit reset.

I love the ability to hit reset.

A few weeks ago, I felt led to jump start into some new changes. One of which is following a Chronological Bible Reading Plan. I have decided to use my blog’s facebook page, as a form of accountability. I try to write each day about what I feel God is telling me -&- hope to build some kind of community between myself and other followers of Jesus. And well, this week, I have slacked off in that study. I might even be a day (or 2) behind on it.

God knows I need to hit reset. Not just in one area. I just need a new week, a new beginning, and thank God – it’s that time. A new week and month.

Perhaps, you need a new start too. This is made possible with the Lord our God! Jesus came, to give us a new life. This is why He came. He came to dwell with us and make a way when there didn’t seem like any way – for us to enjoy a right relationship with our Creator. He came, to give us life and community, and we don’t have to do this on our own. We don’t have to keep focusing on our screw-up’s.

We have God on our side.
Christ paved the way, for us.

God’s Mercies

The bigger-than-life-blessing is God’s mercies are new each day. We may have found ourselves entangled in less than honorable pursuits this week. But, His mercies are still made new with each day.

This week, we can come before God – and be flat out honest.

He already knows, which makes our coming before His throne of grace much more of option than it-already-is. Not only is He ready to give us the grace we need, He already knows we need it.

Our Focus

Need to hit reset? Me too. However before we prepare to hit reset, let’s focus on the grace of God. The One who forgives the inexcusable. The One who gives us strength, when we don’t think we have it in us to reset. We haven’t screwed up that badly in hindsight. Have we? God stands ready, to help us as we seek to follow Him.

Remember, His grace.
Remember, His love.

Come to His throne of grace today. He already knows exactly what you need. Just come and be with the Father – enjoying the grace we have been gifted with.

How enduring is God’s loyal love; the Eternal has inexhaustible compassion. Here they are, every morning, new! Your faithfulness, God, is as broad as the day. (Lam. 3:22-23, VOICE)

Since we have a great High Priest, Jesus, the Son of God who has passed through the heavens from death into new life with God, let us hold tightly to our faith. For Jesus is not some high priest who has no sympathy for our weaknesses and flaws. He has already been tested in every way that we are tested; but He emerged victorious, without failing God. 

So let us step boldly to the throne of grace, where we can find mercy and grace to help when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

Allegiance to God Alone

Read Deuteronomy 13

Allegiance: “devoted or loyalty to one particular thing”. Do we hold to allegiance to God? Set apart God and our time with Him? God is different. He is holy! God desires for us to be committed to Him alone.

Since it’s definition is loyalty to God alone, is allegiance one of the words that truly reflect our walk with God through His Son Jesus Christ? With no hesitation, I know He has been devoted to me. But, am I doing the same? What am I devoting myself to, and what needs to change?

Deuteronomy 13 talks about the seriousness of being led away from God. It breaks the Father’s heart. If something is leading me away from the Lord, His Presence, or my intimacy with Him, it must be purged from my midst.

When Another…: If others seek to entice us to follow after other things versus God, we are given instructions. We need to look at these instructions in light of God’s grace displayed through His Son Jesus Christ. In its essence, it backs up: “Bad company corrupts good character”. People, who lead us astray in our walk with God – aren’t going to make the best “seeking God alone” partners. They will led us astray. Heed to the words:

“Do not yield to them, listen, show them no pity, or spare/shield
them from their action’s consequences.”

In the times we have done this ourselves, we need to heed God’s warning, repent of our wrongdoing (sin), and seek God. God is faithful, just, and wants to help us. We wants us to seek Him! All we need to do is, “come”. Things that distract us – must be dealt with. We can’t pretend they will go away on their own. “Destroy it completely” – leave no particle of that thing that disrupts your walk with our Creator.

When we turn from those people with that kind of thoughts, we are blessed. Here is what will happen:

  • God will turn from His righteous, fierce anger.
  • He will show you mercy.
  • He will have compassion on you.
  • He will increase your numbers – the promise to grow God’s people (13:17).

Why the promise in 13:17 for prosperity? “Because you obey the Lord your God, keeping all His commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in His eyes.”

See Hebrews 12:1