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Bible Pathways - Dec. 7, 2008


December 7

1 Thessalonians 1

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Jesus first (Ch. 1)! Warns against false teachings (Ch. 2). Live to please God — put to death vices, put on Christ's character, improve family and social relationships (Ch. 3). Witness to unbelievers (Ch. 4). The Book reminds us that Jesus is sufficient for every need as well as the most powerful being in the world inasmuch as by Him were all things created . . . before all things, and by Him all things consist (Col. 1:16-17).

In this Epistle, Paul reminds us: This is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication. . . . God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness (I Thess. 3:4:3,7). Jesus' return is the major theme of these two letters of just eight chapters. They contain at least fourteen different references to the return of our Lord with one supreme purpose — preparing believers for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (3:13). The purpose of I and II Thessalonians is to urge Christians to remain faithful, morally and spiritually, during times of suffering and persecution while patiently waiting for Christ's return. It is of utmost importance that our whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (5:23). To be preserved blameless is the reason it is so important to read both Old and New Testaments.

Among the words of comfort to His disciples was the Savior's promise that He would return and receive them unto Himself (John 14:1-3). This is the confidence of the Church — the greatest event to take place since His ascension 2,000 years ago. For 2,000 years, believers have eagerly awaited Jesus' return.

Christians have no doubt that He will come again. The hope of the Church will soon be satisfied and the sins of all will be judged. Dear friends, believers who are in fellowship with Christ have never lost confidence in His promise.

Long waiting has only sharpened our conviction, brightened our hope, and clarified the Scriptures. We are watching and waiting for that triumphant shout of the Redeemer. The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout . . . and the dead in Christ shall rise first (I Thess. 4:16). That shout of victory will break the silence of the ages and will startle the universe into attention. It will raise the dead and summon His people into the presence of the victorious Messiah King of kings.. This is the first resurrection (I Cor. 15:51-52). Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord (I Thess. 4:17). Praise the Lord!

Thought for Today:

"What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see, and I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace;" ye shall see the Son of Man . . . coming in the clouds of heaven (Mark 14:62).

Cross References:

For I Thess. 5:4: See Is. 35:4.

Word Studies:

2:2 entreated =b> mistreated; suffering outrageous; 2:9 chargeable =b> a burden; 3:8 fast =b> firm; 4:4 possess his vessel =b> control his body; 5:14 unruly =b> disorderly.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts for the week sponsored by Derek S. Ronnie • Government Officials: Sen. Thad Cochran (MS) and Sen. Susan Collins (ME) • Country: Rwanda (7 million) in central Africa • Major languages: Kinyarwanda and French • Religious freedom • 80% Christian; 10.5% Muslim; 4.5% non-Religious/Other; 4% Traditional ethnic; .2% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Know that God answers prayer (Ps. 118:5).

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 2:21

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