When I was growing up almost everyone on our street attended church. Being a Christian was just part of the norm. Culture encouraged church membership and it seemed for many – their social lives revolved around time spent with friends from church.
Christian values and morals were rarely questioned and believe it or not, the entertainment industry carefully watched over the messages sent to our homes.
I can remember my teachers presented both sides of ideas and yet, felt free to share their faith as well. Rev can even remember beginning the school day with the Lord’s Prayer . . . and yes, he went to a public school.
I know, it makes me sound REALLY old. Things have certainly changed, haven’t they?
As you think about and imagine the future, do you think it’s going to become easier or harder for Christians to openly live out their faith?
Paul’s words today, help to prepare our hearts and minds to be prepared and stand strong.
He wrote to the people of Thessalonica and to us…
Don’t be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed—the one who brings destruction. He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God.2 Thessalonians 2:3–4
With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter.2 Thessalonians 2:15
You and I can be prepared by knowing that nothing we experience is a surprise to God. In fact, He told us what to watch for and what to expect. He is with us and He promises to help us stand strong!
By spending time with Him in His Word and prayer and standing firmly on the truth of His promises.
- Through faith in Christ, we have eternal life. (John 10:28)
- We are citizens of heaven just waiting for Jesus. (Philippians 3:20)
- There will be no more death, crying, or pain. (Revelation 21:4)
- Nothing can separate us from God’s love. (Romans 8:38)
- Jesus gives us victory! (1 Corinthians 15:57)
The next time you’re tempted to wring your hands and cry “ain’t it awful,” remember . . . in Christ, you can stand strong because you are prepared. Christ Jesus is with you! It is well with your soul!
A Prayer to Be Prepared, Stand Strong, and Follow Jesus
Father, the enemy has always used people and circumstances to tempt us to doubt Your love and Your power. He wants us to wring our hands and go along out of fear. He wants us to feel overwhelmed and outnumbered. But he is a liar. You are well aware of all that has happened, all that happens today, and all that will happen in the future. You are on the throne forever reigning as King of kings and Lord of lords.
When I am tempted by fear. When I feel like I’m alone. Please help me remember that You are with me. I am safe and secure in Jesus. I have the promise of life forever with You. I am surrounded by Your love and by Your grace, I can live in victory. There are more who are with me than those who are against me. (2 Kings 6:16)
Please prepare my heart and mind through Your Word, prayer, and the power of Your Spirit. Please increase my faith to stand strong when life is hard. Please help me follow Jesus rather than the world . . . no matter how loud or convincing the world tries to be. Be with me and give me all I need to be prepared and stand strong that I might follow Jesus now and forever. It’s in His name, I pray. Amen.
Paul closed this section of his letter with these words:
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.2 Thessalonians 2:16–17
And that is my prayer for you and me. May we be filled with hope, comforted in our struggles, and filled with His strength . . . we have His promises that last forever. We have the Lord, Jesus Christ, Himself.
And through Him…
We are forgiven and declared children of God!
On today’s note write:
Be prepared. Stand strong. Follow Jesus.
May God be with you today and help you live prepared and strong in Christ.
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