Todays readings .. Joshua 2, Isaiah 8, 1 Thessalonians 3&4
“ESTABLISH YOUR HEARTS BLAMELESS”
Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians inspires us! The believers there gave Paul inspiration; they were the ones he found he had the least to worry about – of their walk in Christ. His third chapter ends, “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.”
If Paul were alive now, would he write that to you and I? We pray that he would – and he surely would if we possessed, or at least were well on the way to possessing, the same spirit as the believers at Thessalonica.
In ch. 4 he writes, “we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus … to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.” [v.1] There can be no half measures, as we say today. Paul says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification“[v.3] That is a word we do not use today, it means ‘holy-fication’! ‘Holy’ basically means, ‘set apart’ – and as our world grows ever more godless – we need to be ‘set-apart’ from it more than ever.
As we are reading in Joshua, there were just one or two of the idol-shippers already living in the promised land who professed belief in the one true God. We read how Rahab declared, “the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.” [ch.2 v.11] May we find one or two, or even more, today!
Back in our Thessalonians chapter we read Paul’s wonderful declaration of faith in the most dramatic future event of all time – which we, by the grace of God, may ourselves see! The chapter ends, ” For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. 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. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
May we all “establish (y)our hearts blameless in holiness before our God” ready for “the coming of our Lord” which is surely very near, for the signs are multiplying – and we have a challenging chapter on this to read tomorrow.