How inspiring to us – for meditation – are the words Paul addressed to the Thessalonians that we read today! It seems Paul is writing from prison but is experiencing spiritual joy at the news Timothy brings him (1 Thess. 3 v.6) about the situation among believers at Thessalonica. Let us see ourselves today – as ‘the last days’ Thessalonians. Paul’s words here are a ‘prayer’ that we should have “joy” toward one another.
Paul wrote to them (and to us) “may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.” [3 v.12,13].
The next chapter is even more inspiring! It provides us with, if we take it fully into our hearts, a sense of utter wonderment! “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command … And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” [v.16,17]
Finally, let’s meditate on the 18th and final verse! “Therefore encourage one another with these words.” This statement must be taken as saying that a vital part of being able to “establish your hearts blameless” is to know (in our hearts) Paul’s words we read in his 2nd chapter.” For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.” [v.19]
May this be our “joy” and that of our fellow believers, where-ever they may be. Let us “establish (y)our hearts blameless” in this way, be ready for “the coming of our Lord Jesus” and, as we will read in 2 days’ time – and “our being gathered together to him.” [2 Thess. 2 v.1]
Let us become in heart and mind genuine latter day disciples – and how soon now – before our faith is turned to sight, because God’s word has been “at work” in our hearts and minds – and let us constantly pray – using the words of David, “Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous— you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God!” [Psalm 7 v.9]
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