Paul’s Three Thessalonian Benedictions

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2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.

 

In this benediction, Paul calls on the Lord Jesus Christ and our God and Father to bring comfort and to establish the Thessalonians in every good word and work. The emphasis of the prayer is not so much on the request but on the giver of the request—Jesus and the Father.  They are the ones who have loved us and have given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace.  Let this prayer be a good example for us—our emphasis, our effort, should not be so much on what we need, but rather it should be on the One who is strong to provide it.

 

2 Thessalonians 3:5

Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.

 

In this benediction, Paul’s prayer is that God would direct their hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. Perhaps more clearly, that God would help them to realize His love for them, that they would experience it and practice it and that God would give them a patient endurance like Christ’s.

 

2 Thessalonians 3:16, 18

Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all…18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

 

In this last benediction, Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians is that He, the Lord of peace, would give them peace always in every way. Then he prayed, “The Lord be with you always.”  Hence, it stands to reason that if He were always with them they would always have peace in every way—for He is the Lord of peace.

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Pence Being Persecuted: Prayers for Mike Pence to Resist Evil

Studying Bible Prophecy

Mike Pence

As soon as Mike Pence was chosen as Donald Trump’s running mate, “Democrat’s knives [of persecution] came out to attack” him as being “extreme” and divisive.” Hilary Clinton’s campaign blasted him, calling him “the most extreme VP pick in a generation.”

This year, with terrorism, combined with the elections, we have seen such evil at our doorstep as we have never seen before; and all like Mike Pence, if they desire to live godly, will be persecuted (2 Tim. 3:12). Oh believers, we need now to pray a shield of protection for Mike Pence on such an evil day as this, that he would be bold to resist all evil and to hold on to the truth.

From this day forward, I see persecution coming more and more toward all who will stand up for righteousness. I urge all who are Christians to continue to live godly lives and don’t…

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4 Reasons Why United Prayer is the Best Kind of Prayer

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Here are four reasons why united prayer is the best kind of prayer:

1.  United prayer is God’s designed way for us to pray. God never meant prayer to be only an individual activity. Each of us who are believers are part of the body of Christ. And whether we pray individually or with a group, the Holy Spirit that unites us together as a church also unites our prayers; hence, whenever we pray we pray together in Spirit.

But if someone resists the Spirit and wants to pray by himself apart from others (that is to say, if he is resisting their fellowship and for some reason does not want to associate with them) he is not truly praying at all—because he is living in sin.

When we look closely at Jesus’ teachings on pray, whenever He said anything about prayer He always spoke of it in terms of a group. For instance, He never said “When any one of you pray, pray this way.”  No, He said, “If you ask anything in my name…If you abide in Me.”  The word “you” is in the second person plural.

Also, when Jesus gave the disciples an example of prayer (in the Lord’s Prayer, Matt. 6:9) He began the prayer with “Our Father,” not “My Father.” Therefore, He was teaching the disciples (and He is teaching us) that real prayer is united prayer, it is family prayer.

2. By united prayer we have the assurance of help in prayer. Whether we pray individually or in a group setting, if we are united by the Holy Spirit He strengthens us so that we can pray better. Romans 8:26 tells us that by ourselves (without His help) we don’t know what to pray for or how to pray; but since we have the Spirit, He “makes intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered.”

Christians that come together and pray in a group I think are especially helped in their prayers. One would think perhaps that it would be harder to pray in a group, but I have found that if the group members pray in the Spirit and are unified in the Spirit, prayers come easier.  This is true, I think, because this same Spirit that unites us creates in each member a power that releases us from fear, so that we are able to pray from our heart things that God puts on the heart.  Even members who are normally quiet and shy will be empowered to pray all kinds of things.  For where there is unity in the Spirit, prayers will flow out, even gush out continually from the heart of God, into our heart, revealing all kinds of wonderful, awesome things, things that perhaps we wouldn’t know unless we had come to pray in unity.

3. United prayer makes prayer more powerful. The power of united prayer is a power produced in and through all the members who come together as one. Each member makes the flame of the Spirit brighter and hotter. Each member is like adding one on the side of God in a tug of war against Satan and his hosts.  But each member not only adds power but multiplies power; because each member adds something to each other member (this something is that which comes from God through the gifts He gives to each of us for the benefit of all.  There are many gifts He has given us but the greatest is the gift of love, 1 Cor. 12 and 13).

The powerful results of united prayer will not only be seen in our prayers (for example, by the way we are able to pray openly together without fear), it will go beyond the prayer group and into the community—and even further. It no doubt will bring an increased awareness of God to many, and may even bring repentance and revival.

4. United prayer brings us closer to God. I think the best thing united prayer does for us is that, as the Spirit draws us together as a family, we discover in a very real way that He is present with us. Moreover, in each expression of prayer, as each one pours out his heart to God, God’s heart is revealed and we feel God’s Spirit embracing us and assuring us of His love. And as each one praises and thanks God, we sense God rejoicing with us and Jesus smiling at us.

 

 

 

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What Does God Think Of Homosexuality? — 6 Points

Studying Bible Prophecy

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The recent tragic Orlando massacre of 50 people, who were partying in a gay nightclub, has brought to light and to our discussion what people’s attitudes are toward the GLTC community. Certainly, this tragedy has put a spotlight on them and we feel sympathy not only for those who were murdered, but for all homosexuals—because we know that many terrorists hate them and want to kill more of them.

And we can talk all day about what we think of homosexuals and homosexuality, but in the end only one think matters—what does God think? I have decides to write this blog to bring that to light.  So, first of all…

 

WHAT DOES GOD THINK OF HOMOSEXUALS?

We know from God’s word and from God’s character that He hates sin. But we also know that He loves the sinner—and that includes me and you and all people, because all…

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The Clinton Non-Indictment: The Mystery of Lawlessness at Work

Studying Bible Prophecy

Comey no charges

We in the U.S. have seen today (7/5/2016) by our FBI’s non-indictment of Hilary Clinton, that lawlessness is definitely at work in our nation.

We have seen for months now by the former Secretary’s carelessness with her e-mails and the way she has conducted herself, that she has no regard for the law—only how she can achieve power and make money for herself at the people’s expense.

We have seen publically displayed by the way Bill Clinton shamelessly walked into a plane to talk privately with the Attorney General Loretta Lynch, that he has no regard for the law.

And today we have seen, by his non-indictment of Hilary Clinton, that the FBI Director, James Comey, has no backbone in doing what he knows is right. Perhaps his life has been threated, or perhaps he is just corrupt and wants to do what he know will keep him in power. …

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3 Reasons Why Paul Thanked God for the Thessalonians— 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12

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2 Thessalonians 1:3-12

We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, 5 which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; 6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.

11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

In this second letter to the Thessalonians Paul states that he thanks God always for them…

1. because of their growing faith,

2. the love they have for each other, and

3. because of their patience and faith in the persecutions and tribulations they endure.

Paul’s three fold prayer for them (vv. 11-12) is:

  1. That God would count them worthy of His calling (to salvation); that is, that they would live up to their calling by producing good works.
  2. That God would, by His Power, satisfy all their desires for goodness and to do works of faith. This second request is the answer for the first; hence, it is by God’s power that we do good works and are counted worthy of His calling.
  3. This last request is God’s motive and should be our motive for doing good works—that the name of Jesus would be glorified in Him, according to His grace. Here I think a good word for glorified would be honored. By doing good works both God and we are honored.

 

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Praying Together in Unity — What Is United Prayer?

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 United prayer can be seen beautifully by this wild  flower–as each individual pedal forms the whole of the flower.

 

True prayer must be united prayer. God didn’t design prayer for individual needs and purposes apart from others.  We all have individual needs, but God established that believers would pray together in unity—for and with each other and in the will of God.

In John 17:20-23 Jesus prayed that all believers might be one, just as He was one with His Father.

 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;  21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.  22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:  23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. NKJV

 

This oneness is a oneness of mind, Spirit, and purpose; and it includes not only our lives as we live together, but also our prayers as we pray together. Whether we pray individually or in a group, if prayers are true they are united in the Spirit, and with the Father and the Son.

When we pray with this unity (of the trinity), be assured that we are also praying in unity with other believers. Thus we all in effect are praying with one mind, or it could be termed as prayer “in one accord.”  These are the words Paul used to describe the New Testament church and their prayers: they “continued with one accord in prayer and supplication” (Acts 1:14).

To get a broader picture of what this unity in prayer looks like we should also look at the life and behavior of those who have prayed in unity, because prayer can never be separated from the life of a person; for when one prays with unity he also lives in loving harmony with others.  We see this most clearly in the early church.  In Acts 2:42-45 we read,

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

Therefore, unity in life and unity in prayer means that we share things together and share the love of Christ together as a loving family. I think it also means that when we pray we will take every opportunity to pray together.  When we do, we will find happily that we will agree on things (Matt. 18:19); for the Spirit will unite us together so that we agree on what His will is and therefore what things to pray for and how to pray for them.

 

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