Jesus Christ wants to make everyone stronger, blameless and holy.
Today’s Devotional Scripture – 1 Thessalonians 3:10-13, New Living Translation
Night and day we pray earnestly for you, asking God to let us see you again to fill up anything that may still be missing in your faith…And may the Lord make your love grow and overflow to each other and everyone else, just as our love overflows toward you. As a result, Christ will make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy when you stand before God our Father that when our Lord Jesus comes with all those who belong to Him.
Jesus wants you to have everything you need, but are you willing to surrender everything – heart, soul, mind and strength – to Him who died on the cross for all of us?
The Apostle Paul must have believed the answer to this question was “yes” or he would not have written a letter of encouragement to the the Thessalonian church. (A portion of this letter is today’s devotional scripture.)
One of our needs is to be filled up so nothing will be missing in our faith. After all, it is our faith in Jesus that we share with others.
The Apostle Paul probably had Matthew 7:7 (ask, seek and knock) in mind when he asks God to permit him and his missionary team to go to Thessalonica again. If you read the biblical letters written by Paul, you see a lot of emphasis placed on making God aware of our interests, desires and intentions through prayer. We must pray constantly and persistently, knowing that God will answer in accordance to His will.
One of the positive, faith-building aspects of prayer is its insistence on humility and unselfishness. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed,” writes James in James 5:16. “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
Two of the most powerful equations in The Bible are “God = Love” and “Love = God” and they are repeated over and over again.
If you are willing to become stronger, blameless and holy, the word “love” must be a critical part of your vocabulary. In John 13:34-35, Jesus tells his disciples: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Our example of love should be a witness to others about our relationship with Jesus Christ. If someone who does not know Jesus as Savior sees us talking in positive and life-affirming ways about what the Lord has done for us, he or she may feel compelled to ask us questions about our faith. If an individual watches our selfless actions on behalf of the Lord, he or she may equate our joy in service as a benefit of believing in Jesus.
Let’s face it – we live in a payoff society. “What is in it for me?”
Except Christians have an opportunity to “pay it forward.” What can I offer in words and/or actions that will really benefit another person (or people) and will give God the glory and the much deserved credit?
As you prepare for tomorrow’s resurrection celebration in worship and praise, let Jesus make you stronger, blameless and holy.
Heavenly Father, help me to pray and love effectively. These two words are cornerstones of my faith and the faith of many others who confess and profess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Thank you for my church family, who build me up, pray for me and encourage me. Help me to do likewise for them. And finally, Father, let my actions serve as an example of your love, grace and mercy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Please make plans to attend a Bible-believing church in your community this Sunday as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If you are not familiar with southeastern Michigan, I recommend you check out the list of churches that participate in the Everyone A Chance to Hear (EACH) initiative posted on http://eachtoday.com/who/participating-churches.
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