Category Archives: Thessalonians

Jesus Wins!

2 Thessalonians Living Bible
1-3 & 7-8 And now, what about the coming again of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to meet him? Please don’t be upset and excited, dear brothers, by the rumor that this day of the Lord has already begun. If you hear of people having visions and special messages from God about this, or letters that are supposed to have come from me, don’t believe them. 3 Don’t be carried away and deceived regardless of what they say…7 As for the work this man of rebellion and hell will do when he comes, it is already going on, but he himself will not come until the one who is holding him back steps out of the way. 8 Then this wicked one will appear, whom the Lord Jesus will burn up with the breath of his mouth and destroy by his presence when he returns

Thoughts:
Two topics seem to be a big part of the community of faith today; Jesus’ return and the miserable state of the world.  Both are very real.  The fact is, even in our community of faith, we are caught in between the hope of Jesus’ return, that we don’t know much about, and  all the well-documented evil in our world we hear so much about.  It’s hard to know how to reconcile all that.  The “man of rebellion and hell” speaks loudly with many borrowed voices that come at us daily.   They question the truth we know about the Lord, but can’t yet see.  Those voices hope to leave us with impotent despair and to make what is unseen seem impossible to the world…and even to us. Those voices swear that our only hope is to be prepared for the worst with worry, despair and even guns and violence if need be.  Don’t listen!

Jesus is the reconciler of life with a different voice and a true hope for living our life of faith right in the midst of a world that needs a makeover.   You win and Jesus wins!   John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

― Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“I discovered later, and I’m still discovering right up to this moment, that is it only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith. By
“this-worldliness” I mean living unreservedly in life’s duties, problems, successes and failures. In so doing we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God, taking seriously, not our own sufferings, but those of God in the world. That, I think, is faith.”

Stable Foundation

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I’ve still turned the Christmas lights on this morning. I’m not quite ready to give them up. There is relief, though, that I can turn down the intensity of wanting to acknowledge each day of Advent with a blog post and return to my “Sunday and Wednesday” plan. It feels like a long exhale after heavy exercise. You do it for all the right reasons but it still feels good to be done. The benefits always come after… So I decided to look at what I’d written last year after Advent had ended.

From 2014
“I Thessalonians 1:3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

There’s something of a letdown now that the intensity of Advent is done. There’s a sense of needing to come off the mountain high of this last month. That’s just what I Thessalonians 1 has offered me. It’s a reminder that my words are “work that comes from faith,” and …effort that comes from love. They brought me to that high point of of my Advent and Christmas celebration in those days and now this realization; there is no mountain high without the “stable” foundation, the…perseverance that comes from hope in our Lord Jesus Christ IN the presence of our God and Father.”

One word appeared in both the paragraph I began with and last year’s writing…intensity. I liked finding I’d felt that intensity again this year. It’s the “Stable” Foundation that’s a benefit from the “exercise.”