October 10

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“For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?” (1 Thessalonians 3:9-10 NKJV).

From: October 10, 2017

The apostle Paul wrote his first letter to the new believers at Thessalonica after hearing Timothy’s report concerning them. He was working in Athens when he felt compelled to send Timothy back to check on them. When Timothy returned to him with his great report of their continued faith in the Lord and their longing to see Paul again, he was overjoyed. He thanked God for them to such degree that he questioned how he might be even more thankful for them. Perhaps his thankfulness could be better expressed if he could only see them face to face and continue to “perfect” (“bring to completion”) their discipleship, he reasoned.
 
Paul was a firm believer in life on life discipleship. He always wanted to be face to face with those he was mentoring that he might “perfect” their discipleship, training them up to maturity in Christ. As he mentioned earlier in his letter, his discipleship included not only giving them the gospel, but also giving them himself because of his love for them (1 Thess. 2:8). This is the combination of spiritual and relational power that life on life discipleship brings to bear.

“For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 ESV)

From: October 10, 2016

Making disciples is a relational endeavor. The apostle Paul illustrated this by how he related to his flock in Thessalonica as a “father with his children.” Depending on the Spirit’s guidance, he used all manner of relational approaches according to their need. Some he “exhorted,” coming beside them to call them out for correction. Some he “encouraged,” using a personal touch to comfort and console those who were weak. Others he “charged,” reminding them of their identity in Christ and bearing witness to them of God’s upward calling. Making disciples is our calling too. Not in an institutional way, but life on life, like a mother or a father with their children.

“Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:16 NKJV)

From: October 10, 2015

The Bible is food to those who bear His Name. His Word is real spiritual nourishment. It’s promises encourage and bring joy, filling our heart’s with delight. It’s admonitions convict us and move us to yield to the Spirit’s correction and empowering. Jeremiah didn’t just hear God’s Word, he internalized it. In spite of those who persecuted him for believing and proclaiming the Word, his heart rejoiced in knowing it. Those who carry the Name, rejoice in the Book.

“When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies” (Jeremiah 15:16 NLT)

From: October 10, 2014

The Bible is the very Word of God to those who bear His Name. His Word nourishes like real food. It’s promises, encourage and bring joy, filling our heart’s with delight. It’s admonitions, convict us and move us to yield to the Spirit’s correction and empowering. Those who attack the Bible, seek to lay siege to our faith, hoping to starve us out and cause our surrender. Yet, God’s Word has endured throughout the ages and it will outlast this generation of opponents as well. Those who bear the Name, believe the Book.

“Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock!” (Psalm 80:1)

From: October 10, 2013

Many of the Psalms and prophets refer to God as the Shepherd and themselves as His flock. This imagery was familiar to a people who raised sheep for generations. Their beloved King David was a shepherd as a boy, so this title became attached to the coming of the Davidic Messiah as well. So, when Jesus comes announcing himself as the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep, the flock of Israel should not have been surprised. After all, they had been praying for centuries that the Shepherd would “give ear” and listen to their cry.

“If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. You must influence them; do not let them influence you! They will fight against you like an attacking army, but I will make you as secure as a fortified wall of bronze.” (Jeremiah 15:19-20)

From: October 10, 2012

This is God’s response after Jeremiah cried out in prayer about the persecution he was enduring due to the message God had given him to preach. Everyone who is faithful to share God’s message will be tempted to be “influenced” by men rather than God. But if you speak His Word faithfully, He will make you like a “fortified wall of bronze” who influences others. Do you want to be influential for God?