Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Bits & Pieces: Promises of Keeping

"Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you; and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one," (II Thessalonians 3:1--3).

* Characteristics of the believers in the early church were (a) powerful in prayer, (b) bold in their witness, and (c) constantly in trouble (!) In this passage, Paul requests the Thessalonians to pray for the apostle's deliverance from perverse and evil men. Then he assures them, as well as us, that our faithful Lord provides power and protection from Satan's onslaughts.

* In these verses, the apostle Paul does two things: he entreats the Thessalonians to pray, and then he encourages them as to their protection. Because he and the other apostles were in constant danger, Paul asked for the intercession of the Thessalonians. He then reminded them, and us, of the Lord's faithful provision of power and protection.

* With a pastor's heart for the Thessalonian church he planted, the apostle Paul writes to entreat and to encourage the believers there. He entreats them to pray for greater effectiveness in evangelism, and deliverance from ever-present enemies. Then, keenly aware of their vulnerability, Paul assures them, as well as us, of the Lord's never-failing sufficiency and preservation.

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