Scripture:
1 Thessalonians 1:3; 3:10-12
Tue, 26 April 2022

Primary Attention on Real Needs

Observation:

What significant observations can you make about the love of the Thessalonians?

Deeper Reflection
OFTENTIMES IN OUR PRAYER, WE FOCUS MUCH ON FELT needs – needs that are earthly and physical in nature, rather than real needs – discipleship needs and growth needs. There are vital spiritual realities that God wants us to have. Our heavenly Father who cares for birds, flowers and grass knows and cares for our felt needs (Matt 6:25-32). However, central in this divine care must be us seeking God’s kingdom above everything and living righteously (Matt 6:33). To mature in Christ, we must give primary attention to our real needs. Paul’s prayers for God’s people always focus on real needs.Paul prayed for the Thessalonians’ growth in love: “may the Lord make you increase and abound in love” (1 Thess 3:12). Paul made this petition in the context of asking God to direct his way to the Thessalonians so that he could supply what was lacking in their faith (1 Thess 3:10-11). The “primary way the young converts will become rooted in faith is by God making their love ‘increase and overflow’”54. Bear in mind how Paul describes the love of Thessalonians as “labour of love” (v.3). It is intensive love. But there is still so much more to “increase and abound”. There is “double progress”55 in this prayer: from increasing to overflowing; and from “for one another” – believers within the church − to “for all” – unbelievers outside the church. God intends that Christians loving one another be witness to the world (Jn 13:34-35). And when we Christians love even our enemies, we are like our Heavenly Father, who is merciful even to evil people (Lk 6:35-36).
54 G. K. Beale, 108 55 John R. W. Stott, Thessalonians, 67
Application:

In what areas or ways do I want to grow in love?

Prayer:
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for pastors and staff: To make love the aim in growing the church and shepherd in love
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray for self

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Daily Devo
Daily Devotional Journal
Scripture:
Daniel 10:11-12, 14-19
Tue, 26 September 2023

A Man of High Esteem

Observation:

What significant observations can you make about Daniel being called “man of high esteem” (vv.11, 19)?

Deeper Reflection
One of the heavenly beings called Daniel “man of high esteem” (v.11). This honour was bestowed on Daniel emphatically, in that it was repeated twice (v.19). This “high esteem” did not come from man, but from God Himself. God gave this honour to Daniel toward the end of his life when God called him to “enter into rest” (Dan 12:13). As a youth, Daniel “made up his mind not to defile himself with the king’s choice food” (Dan 1:8), and as an old man, he was faithful to God in spending time with Him in his “three times a day” devotion, even if it means to be thrown into the lions’ den (Dan 6:10). Daniel was finishing well in his life with “humbling yourself before your God” (v.12). When we think of finishing well in terms of successful accomplishments, we must be careful that we are not exalting ourselves.It is not for us to see ourselves in any way as a person of high esteem before God. It is for God to say that to us (2 Cor 10:17-18). Daniel never saw himself as a “man of high esteem”. A key emphasis in Daniel 10 is Daniel being greatly overwhelmed by the holiness and glory of God represented by the heavenly being with an awesome appearance (Dan 10:5-10, 15-18). And it was in this encounter with God when he was called “man of high esteem” that Daniel said, “How can such a servant of my Lord talk with such as my Lord?”50 (v.17). The man highly esteemed by God saw his unworthiness before God.
50 I have theologically translated “my lord” to “my Lord”, since the heavenly being is a representation of God.
Application:

What does being highly esteemed by God mean to me?

Prayer:
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for pastors and staff: To be able to see oneself as God sees
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray for self

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