Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Prepare for Trouble
The Holy Bible (The Message – 1 Thessalonians 3:3-5): Not that the troubles should come as any surprise to you. You've always known that we're in for this kind of thing. It's part of our calling. When we were with you, we made it quite clear that there was trouble ahead. And now that it's happened, you know what it's like. That's why I couldn't quit worrying; I had to know for myself how you were doing in the faith. I didn't want the Tempter getting to you and tearing down everything we had built up together.
Thoughts: As human beings we are easily discouraged and we easily feel defeated. Yes, this happens to even Christians who serve the God of this universe! The great apostle Paul shared in the highlighted verses that he was worried that Satan had stepped in a discouraged the Christians that were impacted by his ministry while he was with them. Friends, I believe that we need this reminder today, to help us understand that even though we might surrender our hearts and lives to Jesus, as long as we live here on this earth, we are still human, and prone to the same temptations that other humans face. The difference for us (Christians) is that we have a Comforter, a Savior, a Friend, our Creator who protects us from the Evil one, and stands by to comfort and cheer us. Think about this as you would in a marriage scenario. When you were single, you had no one to share your burdens with, and no one who really cared about what happened in your day (except perhaps your parents) however, after marriage you were able to share your ups and downs with each other. Likewise, Jesus has promised never to leave us or forsake us! He cares for us and will protect us, and comfort us as needed. The other Truth in these verses is that no matter what we do for Christ, or what He does in and through us, Satan is standing by with all of his cohorts to break down that good work. This is what Paul worried had happened to the Thessalonians after he left them. Friends, we must be reminded that we can only lead someone to the Lord. It is up to Him to convict them of their sin and save them from eternal damnation in the pit of Hell. I am also reminded that we must be careful to disciple, and or encourage a new Christian to immediately get involved in good Bible teaching so that they might take on that armor of God – their encouragement and protection when the Evil one comes up against them. After all, just like we wouldn't leave a newborn child to fend for themselves, we must be consistent in helping newborn Christians to grow in the ways of God, for His ultimate glory, and for their good.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know better than us how much opposition we will face in this world, both in our personal lives and in the lives of the 'babies' touched in some way by our witness and/or ministry. We are prone to worry about this because of our vested interest and hard work, however I pray that just as You have reminded us in Your Word this morning, we might quickly learn that You are in control and will protect Your own. I know we should care a lot about what happens to those that we have ministered to, but help us to surrender them to Your care while continuing to love them, encourage them, offer godly direction to them and earnestly pray for them to overcome the temptations of Satan that will rise up against them in their new Christian walk. Please continue to encourage Your messengers of the gospel, and give them guidance on ways that they might follow through with godly discipleship to aid in new believers' Christian walk with You. We are prone to worry Lord, but help us that we might learn to do our part well, then allow You to assume the love and direction that You have promised to all who believe on You. We need You for ongoing ministry to the lost of our community, but we need You equally as much to impact the lives of believers so that we might grow in You and impact this world on Your behalf. I ask these things with sincere belief in You and with dependence on You to do Your perfect will in our midst dear Lord, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day's devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!