1 Thessalonians 3:11-13; 4:1-3, 9-10
Mon, 2 May 2022

Three Dimensions in Growth Process


What significant observations can you make about the Thessalonians’
growth in love and holiness?

Deeper Reflection
IF WE ASK, “WHAT IS GOD’S PURPOSE FOR MY LIFE?”, the biblical answer is: Our growth to maturity in Christ toward transformation unto “the fullness of Christ” (Eph 4:13) and into the image of Christ (2 Cor 3:18; Rom 8:28-29). Our growth is indicated by how our lives have changed. Look at our growth in terms of recent changes: “How has my life changed in the past week…in the past month?” And growth is a process. Paul’s ministry to the Thessalonians shows three dimensions in the process of spiritual growth.Discipling Work: “we ask you and urge you”, “instructions [that] we gave you” (1 Thess 4:1-2). The discipling work is verbal: Asking, urging and giving instructions. Certainly, the source of Paul’s “instructions” was the Word of God. When Jesus was alone with His twelve disciples, He taught them the Scriptures about Himself: “These are My words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms…” (Lk 24:44). The discipling work is also visible: How the Thessalonians loved was “as we do for you” (v.12). Disciple’s Walk: The Thessalonians themselves are to walk in love and holiness as they “received” the “instructions” from Paul (1 Thess 4:1-3, 9-10). We disciple others to change lives, but the responsibility for change belongs to the discipled. Divine Work: As the Thessalonians followed Paul’s teaching and walked in love and holiness, God will make them increase in love and establish them in holiness, as Paul prayed for them (vv.12-13).

How is God working in my life in my growth in love and holiness?

Lord, as I read and meditate on the Scriptures, I open my mouth that You may feed Me Your Word,1 and nourish my soul and refresh my heart. Make me to be like a tree planted by the water that extends its roots by a stream, whose leaves remain green when the heat comes, and never cease to yield fruit in the year of drought.2
1 1 Ezekiel 3:2 2 2 Jeremiah 17:7-8

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Daily Devo
Daily Devotional Journal
Daniel 10: 4-19
Sat, 30 September 2023

Strengthened by the Divine Touch


What is the significance of the repetition of the terms “strength” and
“strengthen” in Daniel’s encounter with God (vv.8, 16, 17, 18, 19)?

Deeper Reflection
When God sent His Word to Daniel in a vision, it was he “alone saw” the “great vision” (vv.7-8). It was a special privilege of divine sovereign grace. The vision was also a vision of God’s holiness and glory manifested in the awesome appearance of a heavenly being (vv.5-6). Daniel was so utterly overwhelmed by the divine vision, that “no strength was left in me” (v.8). The description, “no strength”, is emphatically repeated four times in Daniel’s encounter with God (vv.8, 16, 17). We may not experience such an utterly overwhelming encounter with God like Daniel’s, but we do experience “no strength was left in me” in utterly overwhelming adversities like being “afflicted in every way” (2 Cor 1:8; 4:8-9).When we have “no strength”, we need the divine touch. God responded to Daniel’s fourfold “no strength” with a threefold divine touch (vv.10, 16, 18): He “touched me again and strengthened me”. When we are so greatly afflicted, that we feel no strength is left in us, and yet we persevere in faithfulness, it is because we are being “strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of great endurance and patience” (Col 1:11). Note the intensity and immensity of this divine power at work in us! This is the divine touch of “the surpassing greatness of power” from God (2 Cor 4:7-9). But we feel the physical and emotional pains more than the Spiritual power. The greater is our suffering, the greater will be the strength from God in us, and the greater will be our steadfastness in God.

What is my experience of the Word of God and spiritual warfare like in my
discipleship journey?

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 Church Board: To know God’s power that is perfected in weaknesses
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray for self

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