Scripture:
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 8-12
Wed, 5 October 2022

Unbelievers and Work of Deception

Observation:

How does Paul describe the spiritual condition of unbelievers?

Deeper Reflection
CERTAIN UNBELIEVERS ARE DESCRIBED BY PAUL AS “THOSE who are perishing” (v.10). Their spiritual condition is further variedly depicted as “refused to love the truth” (v.10), “believe what is false” (v.11), “did not believe the truth” and “had pleasure in unrighteousness” (v.12). Unbelief and unrighteousness go together.Paul shows how these unbelievers reach this point of “perishing”. It begins with the great refusal. They are “perishing” “because they refused to love the truth and so be saved” (v.10). The “truth” that leads to salvation (“and so be saved”) – the Gospel – is presented to them, but they reject it. Why? Because they hate the truth – the contrast of “love the truth”. They “refused to love the truth” because they “had pleasure in unrighteousness” (v.12). They “love the darkness” and “hate the Light” (Jn 3:19-20).The great refusal opens itself up to the great deception. When the antichrist appears, he will “exalt himself against every so-called god or object of worship…proclaiming himself to be God” (vv.3-4). The antichrist “by the activity of Satan” will display his supernatural “power” by performing “false signs and wonders” (v.9) to convincingly show that he is God. Those who “refused to love the truth” will be taken in by the spectacular satanic deception to worship this false God (v.10). John’s version of the antichrist in Revelation is the Beast, who demands worship (Rev 13:4, 8, 12, 15). At the heart of worship is allegiance. There is no neutrality. We love the truth or hate the truth. We worship the true God or other gods.
Application:

How does the rather unpromising spiritual condition of unbelievers affect my
reaching out to them with the Gospel?

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 leaders
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for the Nations: That God will in His mercy remove their spiritual blindness
  • Pray for self

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

Strengthened by the Divine Touch

Observation:

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.
Application:

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

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 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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