Latest Thoughts of the Day
2 John 13
The children of your chosen sister send their greetings.

Was there a need at the time to mask the communications of early Christians behind a metaphor of family? If you can’t talk openly, you must talk in pictures. Is John picturing all Christians as cousins who are very dear to one another and desire to be included in the blessing? Family relationships were created by God to demonstrate spiritual realities between the believer and his Heavenly Father.
What is the significance of nephews in the Lord? How are they all cousins? Every human relationship pictures something of our connection in the church. Lord, help us to love and greet spiritual cousins. Help us to rejoice in the multi-faceted kingdom of God. May Jesus Christ be praised in every relationship, in every place, at every time! Jesus, You have made us one by Your blood, and we rejoice.
1 John 5:21
Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.

“The true God and Eternal life are Jesus Christ” When we lose sight of this, we put in Jesus’ place a figment of our own imagination, whether physical or intellectual. John’s challenge to keep ourselves from idols is like his challenge to love not the world or anything in the world. If any man love the world the love of the Father is not in him. Lord Jesus, guard our hearts, even as we guard them ourselves. Send your Holy Spirit, that we not be led into temptation, but be delivered from evil. Whether it be a worshipping of another manufactured entity or one we have imagined ourselves, Good Lord deliver us from idolatry. Keep us, even as we seek to keep ourselves. Thank you, Jesus, that no one can pluck us out of Your hand. Help us embrace You today.
2 Peter 3:18
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Likeness to Jesus Christ is what Peter longs to see in every person who has experienced His salvation. None of us can grow in the favor that God has put upon us in choosing us for Himself. We cannot become more beloved of the Father. But we can grow in likeness to Jesus, showing forth the grace to others that Jesus has shown to us. We do not change in our relationship to Christ as we grow in understanding. But there is a fullness in our persons, a gentleness in our manner, a blossoming of love to God that can and ought to grow. Make it so in us, Lord Jesus! Grant us your Holy Spirit, that we might be conformed to Your image.

1 Peter 5:14
Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

There is obviously a cultural element in this directive from Peter. Saluting one another with a kiss is a part of many cultures, but it is interpreted very differently in others. What Peter desires to see is a warm and personal expression of acceptance and affection manifested among the people of God. In America a warm handshake or perhaps a hug convey what Peter has in mind and does serve to bond Christians with one another. That we are one in Christ is a wonderful encouragement; and actually expressing that oneness is to be desired among God’s flock. Lord, help us to greet one another warmly and in a way that affirms our connection. Grant us peace in our relationships within the church. Do this, we pray, for Jesus’ sake.
James 5:20
...remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

That we should be the means of rescuing a sinner from certain destruction and bringing all his sin under the cleansing blood of Jesus is an awesome thing. And we do just this when we are the instrument God uses to bring a person to life in Christ. The work of regeneration is entirely God’s prerogative and done entirely by His power according to the counsel of His will. But when he performs this mighty work, it will be using the testimony of someone who has himself come to be a Christian, by His grace. It could be He would use the likes of us. What a privilege! What a wonder! Lord, use us this day to save people from death and cover their sins!
Hebrews 13:25
Grace be with you all.

All of Paul’s letters conclude with this prayer. He called Christians to a depth of understanding and commitment to Jesus Christ that is only possible by God’s powerful grace. He called to a daily life of self-sacrifice even unto death, which men can only truly have if they have been transformed by the grace of Almighty God. He sees the unworthiness of man, but the astonishing forbearance and mercy of God, reaching out to fallen man by grace alone. He knew the power of God needed to enable the work of salvation to proceed unto sanctification, and he spoke of this power as the grace of God. “Grace be with you all” certainly expresses the heart of all of Paul’s writings. Lord Jesus, whoever Your instrument in giving us this book, accomplish in us its goal. May Your grace be with us all.
Philemon 25
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit!

May Jesus, in all His glory, power, and authority, be reigning in your inmost being! Paul combines what we know of Jesus and desires that this Jesus be the mainspring of our lives. Jesus is Lord, ruling over all for His own glory. Jesus is the Savior of His people, living and dying and rising for them, that they may be delivered from the wrath to come. Jesus is the anointed sacrifice God had promised since creation, and had brought into being as a human in His appointed time. Paul prays to God and exhorts us all at the same time. May God reign in us by his grace; may we embrace that grace in our inmost beings! Lord, we say “Amen” to this reality and receive Him as He is today. Draw near by Your Spirit!
Titus 315
Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.

Greeting someone may be little more than saying “hello”, but it is affirming their person, welcoming thm to our company, making them feel a part of our group, thanking God for bringing them into our midst. And we feel this desire toward every person who loves us for Jesus’ sake. That is the best reason for welcoming anyone. If people are drawn by our looks or our charm or our projects or our performances we are not happy, except insofar as this may draw them ultimately to our Savior. If they do not love us in the faith, they do not actually love the real ”us”. Lord, help us genuinely to greet one another, and even strangers, for Jesus’ sake. May we truly love one another in the faith.

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