Scripture reading for June 22nd: Song of Songs 4-6, 2nd Thessalonians 1
2nd Thessalonians 1: 3-8 “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering, since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus.”
The Thessalonian believers were undergoing trials and persecution because of their faith and love of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote to encourage them that their testimony of love and faithfulness under trial had reached him and God was pleased. Their patient endurance under persecution was ‘evidence’ that their faith was genuine and that they were ‘worthy’ of God’s gift of salvation. They must continue in faith and love until Christ’s promised return. Christ would punish those afflicting the believers at that time. In the meantime, they must keep preaching the Gospel in hope that even those who persecuted them would experience salvation and eternal life instead of God’s vengeance and ‘eternal destruction’.
2nd Thessalonians 1:9-10 “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might, when He comes on that day to be glorified in His saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.”
Prayer: Father God, I know that the only way I am considered ‘worthy’ of Your kingdom is by faith in Jesus Christ. Thank You for the gift of salvation and the promise of Jesus’ return for His Bride, the church! Empower me to increase in love and faith as I share the Good News of a loving Savior Who died for sinners and rose again to live eternally. Let none I share with suffer eternal destruction under Your wrath!
Song of Songs 5:9-10 “What is your Beloved more that another beloved/ O most beautiful among women? What is your Beloved more that another beloved, that you thus adjure us?” “My Beloved is radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand.”