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1 Thessalonians 3

Carve the very nature, the very heart of Jesus into me, Lord.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Father, as I read through this chapter, I catch a view through Paul’s eyes of what it was like for him to get to hear results of his ministry.  You allowed him to see fruit that You had brought about from the seeds You used him to plant or to water or to weed … Oh, he didn’t get to hear about or see every harvest.  Rather, You chose the timing and the lives for which You conveyed “good news” to him, or “glad tidings,” as in some versions.

Even in his own struggles, he was greatly encouraged when he learned of the faith of those for whom he cared and in whom he had invested a portion of his life.  “For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.” (v 8 NIV)  You brought encouraging news at just the right time.

Thanks, Lord, for the times You’ve done this very thing for me, when You’ve brought news from or a visit with those You’ve fostered mutual encouragement between in the past.  (Several have even been recipients of these devo-prayers!)  Truly, there’s a renewed joy that comes when hearing the victories You’ve won in a person’s life, or hearing how their faith has prevailed or is leading them even closer to You and into wonderful works alongside You.  Even the news of how You’ve rescued them from the chains of the enemy or at work waking them up to their dire situation.  I don’t think I quite understand how or why, but hearing of how You’re at work in the life of another person just stirs my heart to joy, and renews again my hope in You.

Thank You for every little and big bit of “glad tidings” You send my way, Father, as You keep shaping me to be just like Jesus.

As I consider the lives You’ve used my life to touch (praise YOU for every life on THAT list!), I ask You to bless them in the way Paul wrote of at the end of this chapter:  Father, make their love increase and overflow for others who belong to You and for everyone else in this world, just as You do the same in me toward them.  Strengthen their hearts so that each one will be blameless and holy in Your presence, our God and Papa, when our Lord Jesus Christ comes back.  Amen.

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