2 Timothy 1

May each life I touch grow to love Jesus more.

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

“…I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you…” (v 6 AMP)

“…I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you…” (v 6 NIV)

Father, You have gifted me by Your Spirit for a variety of things.  You’ve worked through many influences to develop skills in me.  You’ve been at work to fashion me into a tool You can use for building up Your kingdom.  Early on, the desire to serve others through these gifts was strong, alive, and active.  The embers are still there, though sometimes in need of stoking, so that there’s a blaze instead of merely a warm glow.  Stir me up, Lord.

“God doesn’t want us to be shy with His gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.”  (v 7 MSG)

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (v 7 NIV)

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.” (v 7 AMP)

Gather up all these descriptions of what You’ve given to me and shape my understanding and application of Your Word.  Yes, You’ve gifted me.  And yes, in the past We’ve done some exciting things together through those gifts put to use in Your kingdom.  Now, Lord, strip away the “cringing” and “timidity” that can hinder me these days from diving in and letting You fully use me wherever You desire.  Only in You can I be free from fear; so I look to You to cut those chains and free me to more fully serve You.

“We can only keep on going, after all, by the power of God, who first saved us and then called us to this holy work … I couldn’t be more sure of my ground — the One I’ve trusted in can take care of what He’s trusted me to do right to the end.” (v 12 MSG)

“…Still I am not ashamed, for I know (perceive, have knowledge of, and am acquainted with) Him whom I have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on), and I am [positively] persuaded that He is able to guard and keep that which has been entrusted to me and which I have committed [to Him] until that day.” (v 12 AMP)

Thank You, Father, for the confidence that knowing You can bring.  Continue to deepen my relationship with You as I fall more in love with Jesus each day.  Work in me the way You long to work.  Shape me into the likeness of Your Son.  Amen.

1 Timothy 6

Father, fill me up with Your truth.

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

Thanks for the admonition You convey in this letter written to a young Christian leader by a seasoned follower and disciple-maker.  Help me to apply Your exhortations regarding what to flee and what to pursue as I live out my life in You.

“But you, man of God, FLEE from all this [see vs. 3-10], and PURSUE righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” (v 11 NIV)

FLEE

In the verses prior to this one, You led Paul through a discussion of at least three “things.”  Noted initially are those who teach false doctrines which do not agree with Your Word (v 3).  These same false teachers also carried out lifestyles contrary to the godliness You desire.  Secondly, You use Paul’s words to expose the self-serving motive of seeking godliness as “a means to financial gain” (v 5), or to get rich.  Thirdly, You spell out the dangers of allowing the gathering of wealth to drive oneself in this life.  You led Paul to highlight all these aspects and then said, “flee from all this” (v 11).

PURSUE

Now, since fleeing means to run away from something, there naturally must be something else to run toward.  In this case, You give me an entire list of traits to keep on chasing after, a lifelong pursuit or quest:

(1) RIGHTEOUSNESS — The Amplified Bible states this as “…righteousness (right standing with God and true goodness),…” (v 11 AMP). In his letter to the Romans, You use Paul’s words to help clarify this: “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Rom 3:22 NIV).  Under the Old Testament law, Your followers were declared righteous, like gaining Your stamp of approval, by their obedience.  Yet, because You knew that I’d never be able to be fully obedient to You, out of Your mercy and grace, You sent Your Son to redeem me from my “missing the mark” or sin.  “…where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 5:20-21 NIV).  YOU declare me righteous by my faith in Your Son.

(2) GODLINESS “…godliness (which is the loving fear of God and being Christlike),… “ (v 11 AMP).  Here’s how Chuck Swindoll put this in one of his study guides: “…an authentic, abiding desire to glorify God through self-sacrificing service and humble obedience.”**  Form that in me, Lord.

(3) FAITH — Father, help me to take my hands off the steering wheel and allow You to drive, to allow You to be the door opener, without my trying to pry the doors open or manipulate them to fit my design.  Help me to trust You.

(4) ENDURANCE — This is like perseverance and both mean “to abide under.”  Guide me in moving through life, handling what comes my way with the strength You provide and looking to You to supply stability and balance.

(5) GENTLENESS — Guide me in allowing Your Spirit to keep my strength under control, utilizing my strength as You reveal it’s appropriate to do so.

Run with me, Lord, as I flee what is not of You and pursue all that You lay before me, as You’re at work to make me just like Jesus.  Amen.

** from Excellence in Ministry by Charles Swindoll, Insight for Living, 1985.

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

Draw my heart toward Yours, Jesus, so that I fall deeper in love with You every moment.

1 Timothy 5

Father, fill me up with Your truth.

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

Relationships–an entire chapter about the kinds of relationships You desire among Your people, in Your Church! …Lord, teach me what You want me to learn and to live.

You use all sorts of terms to describe how You desire us to interact:
“Do not rebuke… harshly, but exhort” (v 1).
“Treat as [family members]…with absolute purity” (v 2).
“Give proper recognition…” (v 3).
“…provide for his relatives and especially his immediate family” (v 8).
“…help those who are really in need” (v 16).
“…do nothing out of favoritism” (v 21)
“…do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.” (v 22).

Guide me, Father, in growing my relationships with others, both those related to me through my birth and those connected to me by my rebirth.  Teach me to love them like You do.  Pare away the skin of this fallen world which can cover, hide, or keep in the nutrients necessary for healthy relationships.  Continue to heal the wounds in me that hinder me from reaching out and loving others freely and fully like You love them.  Free me from the past to step forward into the future with each opportunity You supply today.  Make me just like Jesus.  And when a person has encountered me, may he or she love Him more.  Amen.

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

Draw my heart toward Yours, Jesus, so that I fall deeper in love with You every moment.

1 Timothy 4

Father, fill me up with Your truth.

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

“You’ve been raised on the Message of the faith and have followed sound teaching.  Now pass on this counsel to the Christians there, and You’ll be a good servant of Jesus.” (v 6 MSG)

“If you explain this to the brothers and sisters, you will be doing your duty as a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is fed by the message of faith and the true teaching you have followed.” (v 6 NLT)

Thank You so much, Father, for feeding me throughout my life with the truths of Your Message, Your Word which has produced faith in me as I look to You.  Guide me in staying firmly grounded in Your Truth and in passing it on to others.

“Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion.  Exercise daily in God–no spiritual flabbiness please!  Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.  You can count on this.  Take it to heart.” (v 7-8 MSG)

Be my Coach, my Personal Trainer, Lord.  Equip me for living, using, and teaching Your Word wherever You lead me each day.  Guide me in discerning Your Truth and in paying attention to what I allow into my mind.

“We work hard and suffer much in order that people will believe the truth, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and particularly of those who believe.” (v 10 NLT)

Stir in me, Father, that intentional energy that is focused on the purpose You’ve called me to as Your child, Your follower: To make disciples.  Remind me repeatedly of this work that You’ve put me here to do.  My current job is not what You’ve employed me to do.  It’s merely a means through I can touch lives so that I can make disciples.  You’ve supplied a home, a car, a job, a church family, neighbors, friends, acquaintances, places to do business in the community, communication means (phone, email, postal service, etc.) … all these things and more — You’ve supplied them as my tools for carrying out this ministry You’ve given me.  Help me to view these things from THAT perspective more than getting caught up in them for self-serving reasons.

“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young.  Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity … focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.  Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received … Give your complete attention to these matters.  Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.  Keep a close watch on yourself and on your teaching.  Stay true to what is right, and God will save you and those who hear you.” (v 12-16 NLT)

Let others see Jesus in me, Father:
May the words that I SPEAK or use to teach communicate solely the Truth found in YOUR Word.
May the actions of my LIFE reflect the motives, energy and activities of YOUR Son.
May the sharing of my LOVE convey the passion and authenticity of YOUR love.
May the example of my FAITH inspire others to trust in YOUR faithfulness.
May the model of my PURITY enliven the courage and endurance of others to strive to embrace YOUR virtue.

In all these things, may You receive glory, honor, and praise, as others are led toward a more intimate relationship with You, our extraordinary God, because they have encountered this ordinary servant of Yours.  Amen.

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

Draw my heart toward Yours, Jesus, so that I fall deeper in love with You every moment.

1 Timothy 3

Father, fill me up with Your truth.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Leaders within Your Church, Lord, have high expectations on them, as You work through them to guide, nurture, and lead Your people. Still, whether I have a “leadership” position formally or not, because I represent Christ wherever I am, the traits of a leader mentioned here also apply:
~ above reproach
~ not a polygamist nor promiscuous
~ temperate
~ self-controlled
~ respectable
~ hospitable
~ able to teach, knowing what one’s talking about
~ not given to drunkenness
~ not violent nor pushy but gentle
~ not quarrelsome
~ not a lover of money or money-hungry
~ must manage his own family well
~ attentive to one’s children and having their respect and obedience
~ not a new believer
~ have a good reputation with outsiders
~ worthy of respect
~ sincere, genuine, not deceitful
~ not in it for what one can get out of it
~ keeping hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience
~ dependable, trustworthy in everything
~ not sharp-tongued or malicious talkers

Father, work out of me the traits that aren’t reflective of the You in me. Work into me the very nature of Your Son, so that these kinds of characteristics above are seen in my life. In some areas there are miles to go; while in others, I’m already there or it’s just down the block. Thank You for the way You’ve been growing me up in Jesus all of my life.

Thank You for the examples of godly leaders You’ve placed in my life. And, thank You too for the leaders whose areas of weakness in these traits can also be opportunities for me to learn. Continue to shape my heart and life into a clear of reflection of Jesus. Amen.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Draw my heart toward Yours, Jesus, so that I fall deeper in love with You every moment.

1 Timothy 2

Father, fill me up with Your truth.

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

“The first thing I want you to do is pray:  Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know.” (v 1 MSG)

When the day is going well, You say, “Pray.”
When the day is not so swell, You say, “Pray.”
When life is light and carefree, You say, “Pray.”
When life is heavy and burdened, You say, “Pray.”
When I’m understanding Your ways, You say, “Pray.”
When I can’t find my way, You say, “Pray.”
All day long, all my life long, no matter the circumstances,
it’s always the time for this child to talk with her Daddy.

“He wants not only us but EVERYONE saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth WE’VE learned: that there’s one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us — Jesus, who offered Himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free.  Eventually the news is going to get out.  This and this only has been my appointed work:  getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth.” (v 5-7 MSG)

Thank You, Father, for the simple truth of Your gospel.  Thank You that You sent Jesus to die in our place to free us from sin.  Thank You that You raised Him from the dead, and through Him left the promise of Your Holy Spirit’s presence and a guarantee that He would come back to take us into heaven and Your eternal presence.

Continue making me just like Jesus, placing His heart in the place of mine.  Amen.

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

Draw my heart toward Yours, Jesus, so that I fall deeper in love with You every moment.

1 Timothy 1

Father, fill me up with Your truth.

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

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of GOD our SAVIOR and of CHRIST JESUS our HOPE … GRACE, MERCY, and PEACE from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” (v 1-2 NIV)

Thank You, Father, for reaching out Your strong, compassionate arm to save this soul of mine.  Thank You for the hope (or assurance) that You have supplied to me in Jesus.  You have saved me from the clutches of sin, and have assured me of my position in Your family and my place with You for eternity.

By Your grace, You give to me what I don’t deserve.  Through Your mercy, You withhold from me what I do deserve.  Then, You garnish my heart, my mind, my soul with Your peace.

“…love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.(v 5 NIV)

Continually purify my heart, Lord.  Keep my conscience clean and good.  Cause my faith to be genuine, sincere and real.  Keep my eyes focused on Jesus and my life devoted to following You … “The world behind me; the cross before me … Though none go with me, still I will follow … no turning back, no turning back.” *

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that He considered me faithful, appointing me to His service… The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” (v 12, 14 NIV)

Every ounce of strength I have comes from You, Father.  Every move I make I make in You.  You have called me to be Your own.  When I accepted that call, You appointed me to Your service, handing me this primary assignment: Make disciples (Matt 28:18-20).  You have designed the places where I live, where I work, where I shop, where I travel, where I visit, and the family wherein I’m related.  You knew just WHO You would need in these arenas to reach the people my life will and does touch.  By Your grace poured out on me in abundance, I can step forward in faith and love as a willing courier of Your message of salvation to a world that needs You.  Continue to shape my life into more and more of a reflection of Jesus and less and less a resemblance of me.  Make me just like Him in all ways.  Amen.

* (from “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” source unknown; folk melody from India; arranged by Eugene Thomas in The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration, Word Music, 1986.)

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

Draw my heart toward Yours, Jesus, so that I fall deeper in love with You every moment.

Next Set of Devo-Prayers: 1 and 2 Timothy

Through these Devo-Prayers, we stepped through the Gospels–the books of the Bible that tell the account of Jesus’ life on earth (Matthew, John, Mark, and Luke). We journeyed through Luke’s other work, the book of Acts, which gives a historical account of the birth of the Church, the Body of Christ.

Then, we began diving into the letters that Paul wrote to the saints, or believers/Christians, in various cities or regions.  We finished his letter to believers in Rome–the letter to the Romans and then his letters to the believers in Corinth or 1st and 2nd Corinthians as well as the letter he wrote to the believers in Ephesus, or the book of Ephesians, the letter to the believers in Colosse, or the book of Colossians, the first letter Paul wrote to believers in Thessalonica, or 1st & 2nd Thessalonians.

Next, we’ll stroll through the two letters that Paul wrote to Timothy, a young preacher whom he mentored in the faith.

Devo-Prayers ~ Praying through the Scriptures

Each posting contains a first-person prayer based on a particular chapter or passage from the Bible. The Bible passage reference is provided above the devotional prayer, so you can also refer to the scripture which inspired the prayer. Posts that are found via Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn usually provide an excerpt from the full post.

Follow Kat Kreations on

Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/artwritespeak

Twitter at http://twitter.com/katkreations82

Kat Scratchings blog at https://katkreations82.wordpress.com/

Visit the Kat Kreations website at http://www.katkreations.org/

2 Thessalonians 3

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

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

“…AS FOR YOU, BROTHERS, NEVER TIRE OF DOING WHAT IS RIGHT.” (v 13 NIV)

WHAT a challenge that can be sometimes due to possible consequences of following through with the choice of doing what’s right.  However, You have called and commanded me to be continually vigilant in doing so.  As with anything You ask me to do, You supply what I need to do it.  Sort of like Hudson Taylor once said, “God’s will done in God’s way shall never lack God’s supply.”

Here’s a list from this passage of what You bring along on our journey together…

STRENGTH

“But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen… you… “ (v 3 NIV)

You promise You’ll stick by me through every step I take in this life.  You go before me as my Guide through all things.

PROTECTION

“But the Lord is faithful, and He will… protect You from the evil one.” (v 3 NIV)

You surround me with Your mighty shield.  You guard my being with Your awesome power.  You come along behind me as my Rear Guard through all things.  Because of Your protection, my affirmation of courage can be, “I am a child of God; the evil one cannot touch me!”

LOVE

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love…” (v 5 NIV)

May the Master take you by the hand and lead you along the path of God’s love…” (v 5 MSG)

Whatever love for others there is in my heart has been put there and nurtured by You, Father.  You planted a seed long ago and have been helping it to grow.  You remove my heart of flesh and give me the heart of Jesus, as You work inside me along this journey through all things.

PERSEVERANCE

“May the Lord direct your hearts into…Christ’s perseverance.” (v 5 NIV)

It’s the You in me that can keep me going when the going gets tough.  You’re the role model in my mind, who shows me how to endure through all things.

PEACE

“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way…” (v 16 NIV)

It’s like getting a present hand-delivered by you, the Sender!  Whenever Your peace is needed, You hand it to me!  In whatever form Your peace is needed, You give it!  As we journey together, Your my Supplier through all things.

PRESENCE

“…The Lord be with all of You.” (v 16 NIV)

There’s never a moment of my life in which You are not present with me.  There’s never a step I take that You do not experience with me.  You are my Companion through all things.

GRACE

“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.” (v 18 NIV)

My sin deserved death.

But Your mercy said “no,” and didn’t give me what I deserved — eternal separation from You.

Then, Your grace said “wait!” and gave me what I didn’t deserve — eternal life with You!

Thank You for Your amazing grace that paves the road We take through all things.

You have equipped me with Your STRENGTH, PROTECTION, LOVE, PERSEVERANCE, PEACE, PRESENCE and GRACE as You call me to “never tire of doing what is right.”  Continue to teach and direct me in using this gear You’ve supplied for this journey We’re on together.  May I become evermore like Jesus through all things.  Amen.

2 Thessalonians 2

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

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

“…THE LORD JESUS WILL OVERTHROW WITH THE BREATH OF HIS MOUTH AND DESTROY BY THE SPLENDOR OF HIS COMING…” (v 8 NIV)

Too easily, we humans think ourselves to be so mighty, so ultimately invincible.  Some throughout history have mistaken themselves for God.  How silly we can be…

How utterly awesome and mighty YOU are!  With a mere breath You take out any person who sets up a throne meant to supplant Yours.

I see here in this verse how great and marvelous You are … and then … what Paul writes a bit further along just sends my jaw to the floor and moisture from my eyes…

This spectacular, all-powerful God of the universe, Creator of all things … CHOSE me, CALLED me, LOVED me, ENCOURAGED me and STRENGTHENED me (v 13-17)

“GOD PICKED YOU OUT AS HIS FROM THE VERY START.  THINK OF IT: INCLUDED IN GOD’S ORIGINAL PLAN OF SALVATION BY THE BOND OF FAITH IN THE LIVING TRUTH… THE LIFE OF THE SPIRIT HE INVITED YOU TO …IN WHICH YOU GET IN ON THE GLORY OF OUR MASTER, JESUS CHRIST…” (v 13-14 MSG)

Thank You, Father, for choosing me, for deciding to make me Your child.  Thank You for the invitation to walk alongside You as You are at work in this world.  Thanks for using me to touch lives daily.

“MAY JESUS HIMSELF AND GOD OUR FATHER, WHO REACHED OUT IN LOVE AND SURPRISED YOU WITH GIFTS OF UNENDING HELP AND CONFIDENCE, PUT A FRESH HEART IN YOU, INVIGORATE YOUR WORK, ENLIVEN YOUR SPEECH.” (v 16-17 MSG)

Do that, Lord Jesus!  Do that — all that!  Here’s my stale, frazzled heart — ready for You to exchange or refresh!  When You put a “fresh heart” in me, You affect my ATTITUDE.  When You “invigorate my work,” You affect my BEHAVIOR.  When You “enliven my speech,” You affect my TALK, which begins with my THOUGHTS.  Thank You for giving me Your love, Your help, and Your confidence, as You remain intimately involved in my life.  Amen.

2 Thessalonians 1

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

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

In this passage, Paul lets the Thessalonians know how he prays for them, the kinds of things he asks You to do in their lives.  I want to pray those things for me as well, Daddy:

You, O God, give me everything I need, You make me everything I’m to be.  Keep my faith growing and develop in me an even greater love for people than I’ve ever held and exhibited at anytime in the past.

No matter what hard times may come, keep me steady and determined in my faith.  Any trouble that comes is a clear sign that You are at work to make me fit for the kingdom, making me fit for what You’re calling me to be.

Fill with Your own energy the ideas You stir in me and the acts of faith to which You motivate me, so that it all amounts to something.  May my life honor Your name, Jesus.

Thank You for Your grace that’s behind and through all this–You, my God, giving Yourself freely and my Master, Jesus Christ, giving Himself freely.  Here am I –I give myself to You.  Make me just like Jesus.  Amen.

Next Set of Devo-Prayers: 2 Thessalonians

Through these Devo-Prayers, we stepped through the Gospels–the books of the Bible that tell the account of Jesus’ life on earth (Matthew, John, Mark, and Luke). We journeyed through Luke’s other work, the book of Acts, which gives a historical account of the birth of the Church, the Body of Christ.

Then, we began diving into the letters that Paul wrote to the saints, or believers/Christians, in various cities or regions.  We finished his letter to believers in Rome–the letter to the Romans and then his letters to the believers in Corinth or 1st and 2nd Corinthians as well as the letter he wrote to the believers in Ephesus, or the book of Ephesians, the letter to the believers in Colosse, or the book of Colossians, the first letter Paul wrote to believers in Thessalonica, or 1 Thessalonians.

Next, we’ll stroll through the second and short letter Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, or 2 Thessalonians.

Devo-Prayers ~ Praying through the Scriptures

Each posting contains a first-person prayer based on a particular chapter or passage from the Bible. The Bible passage reference is provided above the devotional prayer, so you can also refer to the scripture which inspired the prayer. Posts that are found via Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn usually provide an excerpt from the full post.

Follow Kat Kreations on

Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/artwritespeak

Twitter at http://twitter.com/katkreations82

Kat Scratchings blog at https://katkreations82.wordpress.com/

Visit the Kat Kreations website at http://www.katkreations.org/

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 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.