Latest Thoughts of the Day
2 Timothy 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,

Paul being made an apostle had something to do with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus. God had promised to redeem a people for Himself, bringing them to life by the preaching of the message of salvation in Christ. It was to be life for those who were dead in trespasses and sins. It was to be accomplished by the preaching of those who themselves were once dead, but who had been brought to life by God’s mighty power. They were to be sent forth as witnesses of what they had seen and heard. God would rescue the totally unworthy by the remarkable means of preaching, administered by sinners saved by grace. Life was to be given in this way. He promised.
I Timothy 1:12
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.

We know that whatever we do, we do by the strength that God supplies. Even the thought to do good is from above. The physical strength to do it is from His mighty power. Any effectiveness it may have is God prospering our labors to bring blessing to others. Considering the weakness of faith we feel and the failures of faith we have experienced, we are amazed that God has considered us faithful. We hesitate to consider what we have true faithfulness. And we marvel that He has put us into His service. But since it is so, let us, with Paul, serve in the strength that God supplies. Of Him, through Him and to Him are all things. Lord Jesus, help us serve You today.
2 Thessalonians 3:16
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.

Jesus is the Lord of Peace, and it is He who gives whatever peace there is in this world. He gives it Himself, in a personal relationship with those who receive it, and it is given as He Himself draws near to be present in our lives. Paul prays for it because, although God’s is always a sovereign giving, He sovereignly gives peace to those who seek it. “Ask and you shall receive” are words of Jesus. An important part of our receiving grace from God is our asking for it. We acknowledge our need, we recognized Him as our only Source, we receive from His bounty and we thank Him, as much for hearing us as for what He gives. Praise Jesus.
I Thessalonians 2:18
For we wanted to come to you--certainly I, Paul did, again and again--but Satan hindered us.

Paul did not always get what he wanted, even after repeated tries. It had seemed good for him to visit the Thessalonians, and he tried to make it happen, but he couldn't. One would think that he would respond philosophically, referencing the sovereignty of God. Instead, he interprets his difficulty and failure as a part of his spiritual struggle with the Devil. Satan stopped us. To be sure, Paul can proceed beyond this to the sovereignty of God, who has allowed Satan this victory. But he places the blame where it belongs, and at the point where the sovereign God will punish those who resist His will. Are we kept from doing what God would have us do? Place the blame where it belongs and trust the Lord Jesus.
Colossians 2:9
For in Christ all the fullness of ther Deity lives in bodily form,

Astonishing truths have become clichés through familiarity, and they have lost, pretty much, their power to amaze us. That in Christ all the fullness of the Deity dwelt in bodily form is a staggering truth. The complexity of this Jesus is infinitely beyond our comprehension. Deep-space probes send back more questions than they ever solve, and deep space is the creation of God, now manifest in the flesh. The most astonishing thing about Jesus may be His self-control, that the Deity did not burst out everywhere at every moment. How could there not be miracles at every turn? That this God has deigned to live in us by His Holy Spirit ought not to be a cliché. But we cannot contain the reality without blowing our mind. Lord, help us handle the thought
of Christ.
Philippians 3:16
Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

Paul speaks of forgetting the things that are behind and pressing forward to the things yet to be attained. It is God who is at work in us, and He will go on with His work. If we are not entirely agreed on every point, let us not worry about it—God will make it clear to each of us at the right time. Just don’t go backwards! Let us be consistent with what we now know. Have we learned anything in the past year? Let us live up to it! Are we a little bit ahead of another person? Let us hold on to the lead. Lord, You have done a work in us, and we are not what we once were. Help us live like what we are and strive to be better for You.
Ephesians 3:16
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

May God deposit in our little account! He has glorious riches, so what He gives to us is no shortage to Him at all, and it is a gift that honors and blesses and exalts us. To have glorious riches is beyond our real comprehension, but we are very glad to operate from such an account. Lord, help us today to live as very rich people with a richness that shines for You. May the paltry purse we carry it in be entirely eclipsed when we open it to spend! Make what we do today spill over with blessing from above, and may we enrich others with the bounty we have received! Lord Jesus, grant us Your power in our lives, that we may live for You!
Galatians 5:16
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Paul does not say that we will be entirely unmoved by the desires of the sinful nature. We would prefer to be rid of the desire as well as the fulfillment. One day God will take away even the desire for that which is impure. Many of our grosser sins are already gone in this way. But we struggle with the rest, and it is encouraging to see that Paul’s remedy is not stiffer self-control, but the power to live a better life. The secret is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God. Being prompted by Him, being helped by Him, being busy for Him lifts us a little above the struggle. We do not gratify those lusts. This much freedom is wonderful, and we thank You, Lord Jesus.

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