Not gods that are man made. Not gods that are just people elevating themselves to power. Not goes that are statues. Not gods that are made of wood or stone or metals. Not made up gods to explain away what is taking place. Not gods that are used to manipulate others. Not gods that ebb and flow because they are not real but the rules are defined by man.
The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it! He created it all! So let’s worship the creator rather than focusing on or worshipping the created!
There is but one God! This God is made up of 3 persons – Father, Son, Holy Spirit! Jesus came to the earth fully God and fully man in order to be our Lord and Savior! He came to pay the ultimate price that none of us could have ever paid by ourselves, no matter how much money or time or effort we could try to put into it. All we need to do to receive the gift is to receive Him into our hearts as our Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit came after Jesus ascended to heaven to be our comforter and our guide! He can help us in those tough times with wisdom and discernment.
So don’t bow down to man. So don’t bow down to things. So don’t bow down to stuff. For one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!
Do you believe it? Have you received it? If you haven’t, what is it going to take before you do? Is it a message? Is it a dream? Is it a vision? Is it an experience? What will it take?
Will it be something like what Egypt had to have happen?
God doesn’t rejoice when He needs to punish or correct people. He laments over them because His plan and His hope is that we will have a hope and a future. He sent Jesus not to condemn the world but that through Him the world would be saved! God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son! God is love!
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
–from 1 Corinthians 13
God is just!
Job 34:17 – “Shall one who hates justice rule? And will you condemn the righteous mighty One,
Job 33:5 – “Refute me if you can; Array yourselves before me, take your stand.
Job 36:6 – “He does not keep the wicked alive, But gives justice to the afflicted.
Job 30:18 – “By a great force my garment is distorted; It binds me about as the collar of my coat.
Job 18:4 – “O you who tear yourself in your anger– For your sake is the earth to be abandoned, Or the rock to be moved from its place?
Job 3:5 – “Let darkness and black gloom claim it; Let a cloud settle on it; Let the blackness of the day terrify it.
Luke 18:7 – now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?
Acts 17:31 – because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
Acts 2:7 – They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
Acts 3:25 – “It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘AND IN YOUR SEED ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED.’
Acts 1:8 – but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
And thanks to Jesus being our Lord and Savior, we know
5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
–from 2 Thessalonians 1
We don’t need to seek revenge because vengeance is the Lord’s!Whether we read it in the old or the new testament, it is still the truth!
It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.” –Deuteronomy 32:35
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. –Romans 12:9
So let’s invest in what will last for eternity! Let’s not worship things that will come and go! Let’s not lift up things that will just burn up or be blown away in the wind!
Do you know what will last for eternity? People! So let’s live lives that will help as many people as we can spend eternity with God rather than apart from God! Let’s help them to realize the hope that is within us! Let’s help them find that hope and pursue after Jesus! Let’s complete the good work that God has prepared in advance for us to do!
So let’s put our hope in His unfailing love! Let’s trust Him in and thru the storms! Let’s trust Him in and thru the valleys! Let’s walk thru each day building our relationship with Him! Let’s be willing to hear what He has to say! Let’s be willing to respond to His wisdom, His instruction, His direction, and His correction! Don’t lose hope! Put your hope and trust in God!
Let’s be alive in Christ! Let’s show the spirit of reconciliation! Let’s live lives so that others can see Jesus in and thru us! Today’s reading speaks to it this way…
Made Alive in Christ
1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are Godʼs handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Jew and Gentile Reconciled Through Christ
11Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with Godʼs people and also members of his household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Don’t give up! Don’t try to go it alone! Jesus doesn’t want to leave nor abandon you! So let’s put our hope and trust in Jesus! Let’s reflect on this last part of today’s reading together from 1 Thessalonians 3…
1So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. 2We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in Godʼs service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, 3so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them. 4In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know. 5For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain.
Timothyʼs Encouraging Report
6But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. 7Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. 8For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. 9How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? 10Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.
11Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. 12May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.
–1 Thessalonians 3