Love and Steadfastness

2 Thessalonians 3:1-5, 13

Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ…

As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.

The Word of God

In America and in the world today, the Word of God is not honored by the majority of people, not even by the majority of those who call themselves Christians here in America. It is certainly well known, at least here in America, and it is easily accessible here in America via the internet, and in most book stores. And, many Americans have at least one copy of the Bible in their homes. But to honor the Word of God is something else entirely.

For, to honor the Word of God is to respect it and to exalt it, and it is to keep (obey) the Word, to carry it out. For, we can be in possession of a Bible, or many Bibles, and we can even memorize scripture and study it and debate it with others, but if we do not obey the Word of the Lord, and we do not follow Jesus Christ where he leads us, then we don’t honor God’s Word.

And, because of this, the true Word of the Lord is being hindered, and it is being hijacked, too, by thieves and robbers whose goal it is to destroy the gospel and to destroy the church. And, thus they are dishonoring God’s Holy Word by twisting it and turning it in the direction of human flesh to make it more palatable to the flesh of humans. And, they are denying that God’s main purpose for his followers is that they walk in holiness and purity.

So, the prayer here is that those of us who are sharing the gospel of our salvation with the world around us, that we would be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. For the wicked and the evil are trying to destroy the gospel and its messengers so as to hinder the spreading of the true gospel. So, this is truly a prayer that we would be able to continue to share the gospel unhindered so that many will be saved.

Our Faithful Lord

Knowing that our Lord is faithful is so comforting to our hearts and minds, for so many humans today are not faithful. For, immorality has become so common place. Jesus said that adultery is to even look at someone, to whom we are not married, with lust in our eyes and in our hearts. Yet, his words don’t seem to be taken too seriously by many. And lying to people, too, seems to be socially acceptable, even within the church.

And, since this cheap grace gospel is now so accepted as the true gospel, and so its adherents believe that they don’t have to obey God’s Word, they are not only dishonoring God’s Word, but God himself. And, thus they are attacking not only the gospel of our salvation, but they are attacking its messengers with lies, cheap shots, cutting remarks, and false accusations, and the like. And, they try to shame those still holding to the truth of the gospel into surrendering to compromise of truth “for the common good.”

But, our God is still completely sovereign over all things. He is fully in control. And, he has allowed evil to reign, for a time, and for the gospel and its messengers to come under attack. So, we must trust him during these times when immorality is rampant and the scriptures are being twisted and diluted. And, we must commit our lives into his capable hands, and trust him to keep us strong, to carry us through it all, and to empower us to keep on sharing the truth despite all opposition.

Doing the Will of God

It can get discouraging sometimes when we see so many professing Christians taking the easy way out, and falling for the lie that says that they don’t have to leave their old lives of sin behind them, and that they don’t have to obey the Lord and his Word. And, too, when we see the church on such a massive spiritual decline, and so many professing believers in Jesus living no different or not much different from those who have not faith, it can be very disheartening.

The worldliness in the church and among God’s people is astounding. So, if you hold to the truths of scripture, and you walk in holiness and righteousness, then you are considered “weird” and maybe even “extreme,” and “extreme” is to be considered as something bad. Yet, being more like the majority is being raised up to being more “normal” and acceptable.

But, Jesus didn’t die that horrible death on a cross 2000 years ago so that we would be worldly and “normal” and acceptable to the world. He didn’t die for our sins merely to forgive us our sins and to promise us eternal life with God in heaven, either. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness and that we would no longer live for ourselves and for sinful pleasure but that we would live for him who gave his life up for us.

Faith in Jesus Christ, too, is not a mere intellectual assent to who he was/is and to what he did for us on that cross. True faith in Jesus, the kind that is required for salvation, is God-inspired and gifted to us by God, and thus it submits to Jesus Christ, and it walks in obedience to his commands.

And, to love God is to obey him, for if we do not walk in obedience to the Lord, in practice, not necessarily in perfection, then we don’t love God. But, we should love God, and we should desire to walk in obedience to him if we truly love him. And, we should want to be steadfast in our faith, in practice, and to keep on doing what the Lord directs us to do, because we love him.

Thus, when we are faced with opposition, and we are regarded as “extreme,” because we still hold to the tenets of the faith, and because we are walking in obedience to our Lord, and we are still sharing the true gospel with people for their salvation, we should not grow weary of heart. For, our work for the Lord and for his gospel will be rewarded.

For the Word of God which goes out into the world will not return empty, but it will accomplish the purpose for which God sent it, for when all else perishes, God’s Word will remain.

So, we should not get discouraged, but we should keep praying, and keep doing what God has called us to do, and then trust that he will accomplish his purposes in and through our lives for his praise, honor and glory and for the salvation and sanctification of human lives. To God be the glory!

Have Thine Own Way, Lord

Hymn lyrics by Adelaide A. Pollard, 1907
Music by George C. Stebbins, 1907

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!

*copyright status is public domain

Monday, June 24, 2019

4 thoughts on “Love and Steadfastness

  1. What you are saying is very true. That is what I wrote about last week! Glory be to God! Most believers compromise with sin yet Paul said;
    But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. 1st Corinthians 9:27

    There is no such thing as once saved always saved. Jesus said it;
    ‘He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. Revelation 3:5

    We have to fight and resist sin. And when we fall short after striving, Jesus advocates on our behalf(1st John 2:1-2). Also love covers a multitude of sins (1st Peter 4:8)
    But people are doing neither the above. And when we do not do the Will of God, Jesus will tell us that he does not know us (Matthew 7:21-23). We have to humble ourselves and surrender to God and die to sin. Deny ourselves, carry the cross and follow Jesus, while having in mind that we may suffer along the way. That is the reality of the walk of salvation.

    Liked by 1 person

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