But the Lord is Faithful

2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 ESV

“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.”

When we are sharing the truth of the gospel with others, some people are going to oppose us. And this will come in many different forms. Some may mock us, others may attack us, others may accuse us falsely of teaching “works salvation,” others may attempt to bait us into a needless argument, some may try to trick us and to trip us up, and still others may attack our character with lies they have concocted, etc. But we need to respond with the Word of God and not in our emotions and not via our own opinions.

And we definitely need to be praying that the truth of the gospel will continue to advance and to go forth and that it will not be hindered in any way by those who oppose it. For Satan is in an all-out war against the truth of the gospel, and he is going to attempt to stop it from going forth any which way he can. And he has many people who are working for him, some knowingly, and some not, who are helping his cause, for they are opposing the true gospel in favor of a diluted and altered gospel message.

And when this says that not all have faith, that definitely includes many who are professing faith in Jesus Christ but who are believing a lie and not the truth. And so their faith is not genuine God-given faith, but something from the flesh and probably what is being promoted by other humans. For many are believing that they can make a one-time profession of faith in Jesus Christ and that it guarantees them forgiveness of all sins and heaven as their eternal destiny, regardless of how they live their lives.

But Jesus said that if anyone would come after him that he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of Jesus we die with him to sin that we might live to him and to his righteousness, then we have the hope of eternal life with God. And he said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God.

[Luke 9:23-26; 1 Peter 2:24; Romans 6:1-23; Matthew 7:21-23]

But the Lord is faithful! Amen! He will help us to be strong in our faith, and he will give us the words to say in response to all opposing forces, but we have to be listening to him speak, and then we must yield to his wisdom and follow it. And again, we must be very careful to not be ruled by our emotions and to not let any opposition get us discouraged or disheartened. For we were told in advance that this is what we should expect. And we need to believe that God is all powerful and that he already won this battle.

And if people are mocking us or trying to bait us, we don’t have to respond to those comments. Now the Lord may lead us to respond, but we are not required to respond to every response if some of those responses are just trying to stir things up and they have no intention of engaging in reasonable and biblical dialogue. And the Lord will give us wisdom in these matters so that we don’t get entangled in pointless discussions that go nowhere and which are likely to just confuse the issues.

Now I don’t know most all of you who may be reading this. I have probably never met most of you and I don’t have much information about most of you. So I can’t write, as did Paul, about most all of you with any amount of confidence to where I can state with any certainty how you are doing or not doing. But you know how you are doing. You know if you are walking in pure fellowship with Christ and if you are obeying his teachings or if you are wandering from the faith and need to repent and to return to the Lord.

But I can pray, with Paul’s prayer, that the Lord will direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ. For we who are the Lord’s via genuine God-given faith, should all be walking in righteousness and in holiness, and in walks of obedience to our Lord and to his commands (New Covenant). All of us should have forsaken our lives of sin and we should no longer be walking in sin, still living as slaves to sin. But now we should be living as slaves (servants) of God and of his righteousness.

So, I encourage you, if you have not already done so, to surrender your lives to Jesus Christ today. Die with Christ to sin and live to him and to his righteousness day by day by day, in his power and strength, and until the day you die or until Jesus returns and takes you home. And if you are already doing that, and if the enemy is opposing you, then I pray for your strength in the Lord to continue in your walks of faith and obedience and in the spreading of the true gospel so that many others will be saved.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

He Lifted Our Burdens

An Original Work / February 15, 2014
Based off Isaiah 9:2-7

People walk in darkness.
They abide in their sin.
It has power o’er them.
True belief escapes them.

Jesus Christ came to save them.
He gave His life up for them;
Crucified; died for our sin,
So we might be forgiven,
And have life up in heaven.

Many come to know Him.
God’s love now o’erflows them.
They rejoice in vict’ry.
Their sin is but hist’ry.

We were once bound in slav’ry.
Jesus lifted our burdens;
Set us now free from Satan,
So we now walk in freedom.
Sin has no more dominion.

Praise be to our Savior!
He showed us His favor.
He took all our burdens;
Cast them all upon Him.

He is our mediator;
The Light which shines in darkness.
Counselor in our troubles;
He gives peace now in our hearts;
Joy which is everlasting.

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