1 Thessalonians 5

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

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

“…SINCE JESUS DIED AND BROKE LOOSE FROM THE GRAVE, GOD WILL MOST CERTAINLY BRING BACK TO LIFE THOSE WHO DIED IN JESUS … HE’LL COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN AND THE DEAD IN CHRIST WILL RISE — THEY’LL GO FIRST.  THEN THE REST OF US WHO ARE STILL ALIVE AT THE TIME WILL BE CAUGHT UP WITH THEM INTO THE CLOUDS TO MEET THE MASTER … THEN THERE WILL BE ONE HUGE FAMILY REUNION WITH THE MASTER.”  (4:14, 16-17 MSG)

Thanks for another reminder that You’re coming back, Lord.  My spirit is eager for that Day.  This human address You’ve supplied is fine.  But the part of me that’s truly who I am, my spirit, my soul, longs for the Day when I’ll be in Your presence forever….

“the question of when all this is going to happen. You know as well as I that the day of the Master’s coming can’t be posted on our calendars. He won’t call ahead and make an appointment any more than a burglar would. About the time everybody’s walking around complacently, congratulating each other—“We’ve sure got it made! Now we can take it easy!”—suddenly everything will fall apart.” (5:1-3 MSG)

Make me daily ready for Your return.  When my focus wanders, bring me back into Your will.  Set my mind on things above, not on earthly things. (Col 3:1-2)  Set the lens of my eyes to see eternity in each moment, to look beyond the now, the next week, the next year … and to recognize how each moment I breathe affects eternity for someone — whether that’s me, the person(s) I happen to be with or people You bring to mind.

Amy Carmichael once said, “NOTHING is important but that which is eternal … We have all eternity to joy in the victories He gives, but only until sunset to win them.”

Somewhere along my journey with You, Lord, You gave me to following list which I wrote inside the cover of my Bible:
“1) Prepare daily to die;
2) Never store up treasures on earth; and
3) Always strive to live in the light of the eternal.”

And these lyrics are also written in the same Bible,

“May I live my life like there is no tomorrow;
for life is really just a gift we borrow.
Lord, may I not confuse the things I soon will lose with the everlasting.”
— from “The Everlasting” by Geoff Moore on Pure and Simple.

It doesn’t matter how You make Your comeback.  Just the fact that You’re coming is reason enough to be ready and eager.

“…let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation. For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever.  (5:8-10 NLT)

Thank You for Your guidance, Your protection, Your assurance, and Your salvation that You supply me!  Marana tha!  Come, Lord Jesus!  Amen.

“Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until that day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.  God, who calls  you, is faithful; He will do this.” (5:23-24 NLT)

1 Thessalonians 4

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

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

Father, continue to help me to follow what You command in this passage.

Keep my mind pure and my actions holy. Help me to say “no” to the flesh and to run shouting “yes!” toward the Spirit.

You’ve called me to a pure and holy life. Help me to live like that — It’s only by Your Spirit and power in me that I can do so, as You transform me to be like Jesus.  Amen.

1 Thessalonians 2

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

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

Father, this chapter contains a lot of insight into how You used Paul to minister to and among the Thessalonians, yet, when I look a bit deeper … there are snapshots of who YOU are … how You are personally involved in the lives of Your people:

“… WITH THE HELP OF OUR GOD WE DARED TO TELL …” (v 2 NIV)

You are my help at ALL times, for all things I face.
You bring courage and confidence.
You supply the words I need to tell Your story to others.

“… MEN APPROVED BY GOD TO BE ENTRUSTED WITH THE GOSPEL…” (v 4 NIV)

You have chosen me to be a courier of Your message.
You have put Your trust in me to do Your work here.
You’ve sized me up and given me Your eternal “thumbs up.”

“… GOD, WHO TESTS OUR HEARTS…” (v 4 NIV)

You see all the way through me, yet You love me.
You know all about me, yet You love me.
You’re aware of all the flaws within me, yet You love me.

“… LIVE LIVES WORTHY OF GOD…” (v 12 NIV)

You have valued me since before my conception.
You have made me righteous in Your sight by the sacrificial death of Your Son.
You have said that I’m worthy — not because of who I am, but who YOU are.

“… WHO CALLS YOU INTO HIS KINGDOM AND GLORY.” (v 12 NIV)

You saw me in the darkness.
You called out my name.
You said, “Come be with me always.”

“… THE WORD OF GOD, WHICH IS AT WORK IN YOU WHO BELIEVE.” (v 13 NIV)

You introduced me to Your Word several years ago.
Your Spirit developed a hunger within me for Your Word.
You continually respond to satisfy that hunger.

As You put together the scrapbook of my life, Father, how thankful I am that YOU have played a VITAL role in all of who I have been, am today, and am becoming!  Here I am … make me a portrait of Jesus.  Amen.