“May 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 3:13
Hi James and Ellen,
Do you ever think about what your grandmaa or grandpaa or Uncle Chris or Aunt Lynn or . . . does every day as a Christ-follower? Do you think that your grandmaa, grandpaa, Uncle Chris, Aunt Connie or . . . are living their lives as Christ-followers like Paul lived his life? Paul was always praying that the guys and gals who he really cared about in places – such as the city of Thessalonica, would faithfully persevere as Christ-followers? The first recorded letter that Paul scribed was taken by Timothy to the Christ-follower fellowship of guys and gals that was located in the city of Thessalonica. 1 Thessalonians 3 has Paul communicating in this personable, intimate letter – which Paul scribed while he was ministering in the city of Corinth, the heart concerns that he has for the spiritual wellbeing of his Christ-follower brothers and sisters who are living in the city of Thessalonica. Paul was quite concerned about the tempter’s innate capacity to have a negative influence through persistent persecution and damaging distresses in the lives of Christ-follower guys and gals. Have you ever been concerned about what the tempter – who is Satan, might do in a good friend’s life if he or she became sick or if his or her dad and ma divorced or if he or she moved away with his or her dad and ma? If you had a good friend become sick, or he or she had his or her dad and ma get a divorce or he or she had to move away with his dad and ma for one reason or another, what would you do? When Paul scribed his very first recorded letter – and the first letter that he scribed and couriered to the guys and gals who were living in the city of Thessalonica who were Christ-followers, Paul did not know how the guys and gals in the Thessalonica Christ-follower community were doing. When Timothy and Silas told Paul how really well that the guys and gals in the Thessalonica Christ-follower community were doing, Paul was so happy with their report that he scribed this letter to the guys and gals in the Thessalonica Christ-follower community to thank them for the very special joy that they had brought him. Paul was really happy for their staunch, zealous faith – for their right attitude towards God. Paul was really happy for their strong, keen love – for their right attitude towards each other. Paul was really happy for their sincere desire to see him again – for their supportive attitude of and towards him.
How do you feel when a good friend tells you how much he or she appreciates you because you do special things which communicate to him or her that you really do value and are thankful for him or her? Your grandpaa is sure that you would feel really good if a good friend of yours tells you that he or she really appreciates you. Your grandpaa is sure that you would make a good friend – or any guy, gal or kid who you know, feel really good if you were to say something to this friend – or to any guy, gal or kid who you know, that would approve and affirm this friend – or any guy, gal or kid who you know, for something that he or she has done for or said to you. Even though your grandpaa finds himself often feeling critical of and/or wanting to criticize a guy, gal or kid, your grandpaa knows that the guy, gal or kid will much more likely respond to him in a positive way if he communicates being genuinely interested in what he or she is saying and/or doing and your grandpaa will sense that his sincere, positive attitude will be reciprocated by the guy, gal or kid who he is trying with a positive, receptive attitude to help him or her. Paul was really good at communicating that he really cared for the guys and gals – and even for the kids, to who he was couriering his letters. Paul knew how important it is to always stand up against the tempter – who Paul knew is the ‘top dog’ among all the evil spirits who are inhabiting planet Earth, who Paul knew will do whatever to affect the physical health of every Christ-follower guy, gal and kid and who will do all that he can do to attack and/or tempt the spiritual walk of every Christ-follower guy, gal and kid. Paul in verse 13 tells his friends who are living in the city of Thessalonica what his night and day prayer is for them, “May 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.”
Your grandmaa and grandpaa are very, very thankful for guys and gals – such as Zacarías and Justina Choque, Raúl and Marí Pedraza and other guys and gals who befriended them when they were living in Santa Cruz, Bolivia as South America Mission field team missionaries. Your grandmaa and grandpaa would like to go back to Bolivia one day to reconnect with the guys and gals who looked past their linguistic inadequacies and cultural foibles and who invited your grandmaa and grandpaa into their homes to eat delicious, homemade meals with them – such as picante de pollo with reconstituted freeze-dried potatoes called chuño. When your grandmaa needed a gal to mop the cement tile floors of a house in which she was living or to iron clothes and/or to sew a button back on a blouse or shirt, your grandmaa would have Justina come over to her house to help her. When Justina came to your grandmaa’s house to help your grandmaa, your grandmaa and Justina would invariably spend a lot of their time together just talking and talking. Your grandpaa asked Raúl to travel with the first South America Mission summer team that your grandmaa and grandpaa took to different rural communities in Bolivia. Because Raúl was an excellent evangelistic speaker, your grandpaa would have Raúl speak at the end of each happening at each place where your grandmaa and grandpaa took the South America Mission summer team. How are you helping your friends have a stronger faith in God? Are you criticizing your friends by telling them things that you think that your friends can do better or are you befriending your friends by approving and accepting them by telling them how much you really do appreciate them?
1 Thessalonians 3 (814)