Week 8: 2 Thess. 2:15 {Stand Firm, My Friends}

So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15, NIV). 

I have this week’s memory verse posted in several places of our home. It has continued to serve me with the needed reminder to stand firm and hold fast to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Even though I finished week 8 many weeks ago, I haven’t been able to take it down.

It has provided necessary encouragement, throughout the difficult days, when giving up seems tempting.

Stand firm literally means to keep one standing. In order to stand our ground, we must remember the hope we have found in Jesus Christ. We cannot allow circumstances to cause us to waiver either to the left or right, if God has called us to a specific thing. Let’s trust Him and obey Him in that specific thing.

In order to persist, we need to remember Jesus Christ’s word – which has lovingly been given to us. While in the Bible we are taught many things about God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the life He is lovingly calling us too, this is where the Holy Spirit steps in. In many different scenarios I cannot tell you what God is calling you to do, but God definitely is able to do exceedingly more than you could ever ask Him to do.

He promises us wisdom when we ask for it, gives us the resolve to stand strong, and helps us to continue on. A message we all, including me, need to hear – because we can get weary at times. God is calling us to stand strong in our faith. It is impossible to do this, when we are not allowing ourselves the necessary time spent in His presence and reading our Bible.

Keep listening for His voice, as you persevere and seek Him above all things.

This is definitely one truth we need to hold close to our heart, as we seek to live out the truths we learn in the Thessalonians.

See Psalm 46:1; Proverbs 3:5-6; Eph. 3:20; James 1:5

Week 5: 1 Thessalonians 5:6

Hey friends!

While it has been a few rough days, I wanted to try and remind us of our goals for this week.

  1. To read and study 1 Thessalonians 4:15-5:8 (click for reading schedule).
  2. To take time to get away and enjoy this week’s memory verse.

As you begin this week’s study of 1 Thessalonians, remember to just go at your own pace and focus on your relationship with the Father through His Son Jesus Christ. We have been beautifully redeemed, and it is all about our relationship with Him!

Memory Verse in Context

The goal of memorizing Scripture is simple: to recite aloud, meditate on from our perspective, and allow the verse to become stored in our hearts. The results of such an action is applying it to our lives like we would apply medicine to a wound. Healing is the result, as we are changed by God’s Word.

6 So, then, let’s not go to sleep, like the others, but let’s keep awake and stay sober.  7 People who sleep, you see, sleep at night. People who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But we daytime people should be self-controlled, clothing ourselves with the breastplate of faith and love, and with the helmet of the hope of salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8, NTE). . .

Some Thoughts

Most of the time, we can find it difficult to stand firm in our faith and making sure we are living as children of light (following Jesus). This is why we need the truth of 1 Thessalonians 5:6. We need to remember to stand firm, because it is crucial for our relationship with God through Jesus Christ – our Beloved Savior!

Drawing near to God and standing firm are the things growing our faith, so we need to examine ourselves. When we stand firm, we will draw near to God; And when we draw near to God, we will stand firm.

As we remember about these two desperately needed spiritual disciplines, I am reminded that God has set us apart for Him and His glory. Throughout Scriptures, we are reminded to stand firm. However it is easy to slip up and forget about our set apart lifestyle, when surrounded by temptation. It’s easy to believe the lie that we can fit in with the world, while calling ourselves a child of God. This is also why our time with God crucial.

Many today call themselves a “Christian,” while living for the world and its sinful pleasures rather than drawing near to God and running to His goodness. The lines have been blurred for what has been taught to us as black and white. How can this be, my brethren?

As we draw near to God through prayer and Bible study, we learn the truth and God shows us how to stand firm. We don’t have to give into the things of this world and/or make excuses for it. God wants to show us how to have an immovable faith. We just have to keep drawing near and hold our ground in keeping Jesus first. God wants to show us how to live as people who believe to Him and operate by faith.

Vigilance is not a zealous attempt to read “the signs of the times.” Rather, it is a life lived in faithfulness. . . The alert Christian will be fully armed with faith, love, and the hope of salvation (Asbury Commentary).

Custom Designed Armor {{Week 6}}

Hi friends!

Welcome to week 6 of our study. Hard to believe – we only have a few days left of our Ephesians study. For those who have joined me on this journey, congratulations on this amazing accomplishment of studying through the book of Ephesians this Summer. For those who have popped in, to glean from the blog posts, you are reaping good things in your spirit – as you turn your eyes to Jesus and the bounty He offers to us – as His followers!

I invite you all to join me, as we peek at Ephesians 6:10-13 – which is today’s passage. As you prepare for what I have to share, please get out your Bibles and journals and spend time soaking up His Word (the secondary Scripture, is 1 Cor. 9:24-25). After you spend some time meditating on these treasures, meet me back here.

*****

The full armor of God is such a gift!

Our reality is this truth – While we face a heavy battle, God is standing by our side equipping us for all we need. He is equipping us to: 1) Fight the battle 2) Victoriously win.

I can stand firm in today’s adversity, because of the gift of God, His love and hope, and the armor He alone provides. The only way to defeat the enemy is, by keeping the armor of God on. Yes, it can get a bit hard – remembering to keep it on. But, this is where the battle is won.

Jesus wants us to win. He wants to help us achieve this victory. But, it only comes – as we stay close and listen to His instructions given to us through the Bible!

He wants to give us strength.

He wants us to win, but this can only happen – as we draw near to our beloved Savior! And, allow Him to help us to put on the armor.

Now, there is something we need to understand: The armor of God is custom designed for our individual fights. His armor is custom designed, so we need not worry that it won’t fit with our lives or struggles.

I know, for my own life, I need to run the winning way – this means putting on God’s armor. This is the living, where it desperately counts.

God is why we can stand firm and overcome.

Lord God, we are tired and our sinful self is raging. We need You to give us, Your followers, clarity on how to put on Your precious armor pieces and to know how they work. Thank You for Your trusted Word and for supplying all we need. Be our strength, today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.