Tag: joy and crown
Scripture reading for November 15th: 1st Thessalonians 2, Psalm 78, Proverbs 11
1st Thessalonians 2: 17-20 “But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, because we wanted to come to you–I, Paul, again and again–but Satan hindered us. For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.”
Because of persecution, Paul and his ministry team had to leave Thessalonica quickly. They only had a short time to minister the Gospel to them but Paul wrote back to them to encourage them to stand firm and cast prophetic vision of the joy that they all would share at Christ’s coming. This prophetic vision is what God uses to counter our enemy, Satan. Paul identified the power behind the persecution as coming from Satan. Satan was just a hinderance, not a major road block! Steadfast faith and righteous living will bring eternal joy and reward in Christ’s return. We must strengthen our flesh with the indwelling Holy Spirit and the food of God’s Word.
Psalm 78: 37-39 “Their heart was not steadfast toward Him; they were not faithful to His covenant. Yet He, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; He restrained His anger often and did not stir up all His wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and comes not again.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for defeating our hindering enemy, Satan. Thank You for prophetic vision in Your Word and flowing through the body of Christ that encourages me day by day to stay steadfast and walk in righteousness and Truth. I look forward to the soon coming of Jesus and the joy and crown of my family and friends in Christ’s return celebration.
Proverbs 11:19 “Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live, but he who pursues evil will die.”
Scripture reading for December 5th: 1st Thessalonians 1-5
Another day of rest is here! We are all waiting for Jesus Christ to return and celebrate His resurrection with each Sunday! In order to finish our journey on the last day of December, we must again read on Sunday. Please join with a body of believers today and worship! Don’t forsake the assembling of yourselves, as you see the end approaching! (No pun intended!)
The letter to Thessalonians is unique in that each chapter contains a reference to the second coming of Christ! The believers in Thessalonica were really excited about this event. Paul had to write to them to help them out of some wrong thinking concerning how to prepare and wait for Christ’s return. As we read this, let’s check our thinking to be sure we are on the right track!
Paul greeted this church, thanking God for their work produced by their faith in Jesus Christ. This church worked to help others know the Lord. They had great hope in Jesus Christ’s return which inspired endurance. (1st Thessalonians 1:2-3) Paul knew their background of idolatry and how they responded to the Gospel by truly turning to the living and to God and to wait for Jesus Christ from heaven. (1st Thessalonians 1:9-10)
Paul recounted how he and the other brothers had worked among them sharing the gospel. They had been very gentle and shared their lives as well as the message because of the love they had for these dear people. They also set a holy and pure example of what being a Christian looked like and worked hard so as not to be a burden on these new believers. The Thessalonians had received the word and had become imitators of God’s churches. (1st Thessalonians 2:7-12, 19-20) These believers would be the apostles joy, hope and crown when Christ appeared!
Paul encouraged these believers to wait for Christ actively. They must live holy lives by avoiding sexual immorality. They must love each other and respect each person. They must also work and mind their own business. Christ is coming back suddenly for those who are waiting actively. (1st Thessalonians 4:1-12) Jesus will come Himself, with a trumpet call and loud command. The dead in Christ will rise first, followed by those who are alive and ready to meet Jesus in the clouds! Take care of any unfinished business today!
In His Love, Pastor John