2 Thessalonians 2:13-17: Thanksgiving, Exhortation and Blessing
July 22, 2023
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Paul here gives thanks, he exhorts, and he blesses. For what does he give thanks, what does he exhort us towards, and what sort of blessing is this?
First, Paul gives thanks because the Thessalonians were chosen and called by God. They are a kind of “firstfruits” – the first produce of a spiritual harvest as an offering given to God. They are chosen that they might share in the glory of Jesus. I wonder what it is that we give thanks for? More money? Better health? Paul is focused on gratitude towards God’s choice. Would you this morning give thanks that you, Christian, have been chosen by God?
Second, Paul exhorts them to stand firm and hold fast to the teachings that he has given to them. This is what we need to be encouraged towards, and exhorted to keep on holding on to. Again, I wonder what it is that we encourage each other, or exhort each other, to do? Paul wants them to hold on to his teaching, the teaching that they received either through his preaching in person or his writing by letter. Let us exhort each other to read the Bible, to believe the Bible, and to hold on to the Bible.
Third, Paul’s blessing is that God would encourage their hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word. How we need that blessing! It is easy for our hearts to become discouraged, or for us to weaken in the tasks that God has given us to do. So we need God to give us courage, to encourage our hearts, and to give us strength that we might complete and fulfill every good deed and word to which he has called us.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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