Scripture:
2 Thessalonians 1:3-12
Mon, 15 August 2022

Building Blocks for Spiritual Growth

Observation:

What is the significance of Paul ending what he writes in verses 3 to 10 with
prayer (vv.11-12)?

Deeper Reflection
PAUL GIVES THANKS TO GOD FOR THE THESSALONIANS’ phenomenal growth: Their “faith” was “growing abundantly,” and their “love” was “increasing” (v.3). What contributed to their growth? We can glean from verses 3 to 12 four building blocks for spiritual growth.Perseverance: “your steadfastness and faith” (v.4). Perseverance is very basic and essential in discipleship. Consider what Jesus says: “But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matt 24:13). Biblically, the context of perseverance is almost always suffering: “the afflictions that you are enduring” (v.4; Rom 5:3; Heb 10:32). To “endure to the end” is to be faithful to God to the end.The “end” that we are to “endure to” is ultimately the Parousia18 – Christ’s Second Coming (vv.6-10). “Blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days” – a long time until “the end of the age” (Dan 12:12, 13, NASB), which refers to Christ’s Second Coming. Both the Parousia on Christ’s part and perseverance on our part go hand in hand together. What keeps us persevering until the Parousia is the promises of God. Paul points the Thessalonians to God’s promises of His eschatological “righteous judgment” (vv.5-9) and their glorification with Christ (v.10). God’s fulfilment of His promises do call for patient waiting on Him. To persevere with God’s promises is to be faithful in God’s faithfulness.Paul ends his encouragement to the Thessalonians for their perseverance (v.4) until the Parousia (vv.5-10) with prayer (vv.11-12). This connection shows that Paul’s prayer is eschatological in orientation. He prays for the present in the light of the future.
18 The word parousia, which means “coming”, is a technical term for Christ’s Second Coming.
Application:

How do I link Christ’s Second Coming to prayer in my discipleship journey?

Prayer:
Lord, teach me and help me to always pray and not lose heart, trusting in the God of justice that He will not delay long over those who cry to Him day and night in their sufferings, but will speedily give justice to them. Strengthen me with all power for all endurance and patience, that You may find me still faithful to You at Your glorious return.17
17 Luke 18:1, 7-8; Colossians 1:11
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for leaders
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray for self

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Daily Devo
Daily Devotional Journal
Scripture:
John 20:19-21; Luke 4:14-21
Mon, 2 October 2023

Sent by the Lord

Observation:

What is the analogy that Jesus used in sending forth His disciples (v.21)?

Deeper Reflection
As we enter the month of October with our upcoming two Missions Sundays, let us focus our attention and prayers on Covenant EFC’s third Faith Exploit, “Disciple the Nations”. In today’s Scripture, verse 21 is a very significant statement that Jesus said to His disciples after His resurrection. And it applies equally to all those who are Jesus’ disciples today. There are three key observations we can make.First, the analogy that Jesus used – His having been sent by the Father – points us to Jesus’ foundational teachings that He came to accomplish the very will and works of the Father (Jn 4:34; 5:30, 36; cf. Lk 4:14-21). Second, the idea of Jesus’ disciples being “sent” reminds us that world missions is not a result of human initiative, but is God-initiated and God-directed. It is God’s mission in the world. Third, verse 21 reminds us that Jesus is not merely calling us to join God in His mission, but to relate to Him as our heavenly Father – in love, obedience and dependence.1Therefore, the more fundamental question is not “Are we being sent?” or “What must we do?”. Rather, it is “To what extent do we understand and treasure our sonship in relation to God our Father (Jn 20:17)?” So that, as beloved children of God, we will respond rightly to our heavenly Father who created us in His image, redeemed us in Jesus Christ, and called us to join Him in His mission. Out of gratitude and love towards God, we joyfully walk in the Lord’s will for us, and fully rely on His resources as we faithfully serve Him.
1 This is consistent with John’s emphasis in his writings on the Father-Son relationship that anchored and motivated Jesus in all that He did in submission and obedience to the Father’s will.
Application:

How do the purposes for which Jesus sends forth His disciples impact the
way I plan and live out the years of my life?

Prayer:
Dear Father in heaven, what manner of love You have bestowed on me that I should be called Your child! Every opportunity given to me to carry out Your will is a privilege for me to participate in Your glorious purposes. Help me to clearly discern the things that You want me to accomplish and to faithfully work at them with a heart that loves and depends on You and always seeks Your glory. Amen.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for leaders
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray for self

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