Glory and Joy

Paul looked forward to the coming of Christ. So should we.

1 Thessalonians 2 (6)

Pray Psalm 115.1.
Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth.

Read 1 Thessalonians 2.17-20.

Reflect.
1. What are some ways Satan might try to “hinder” you from following the Lord?

2. It is clear that Paul looked forward to the Lord’s coming again. Do you? 

Meditate.
Paul regretted not being able to spend more time with the Thessalonians. He had to be rushed out of town for fear that he might be harmed by those who were agitating against him. But he remained with them in heart, which he demonstrates by writing this encouraging epistle.

Paul does not explain how Satan hindered him from returning to Thessalonica. Whatever it was, for Paul it was just another manifestation of the spiritual warfare in which we are continuously engaged (Eph. 6.10-20). Satan may have hindered Paul’s desire to return to Thessalonica, but the Lord was using this hindrance to keep Paul moving through Macedonia toward Athens and Corinth. Satan cannot frustrate the overall plan of God; even his apparent victories are made to work against him.

Paul looked forward to the day of the Lord’s return. He brimmed with hope and joy to think of seeing the Thessalonians there, in the presence of the Lord. They were his glory in the sense that their conversion to Christ and perseverance in the faith were evidence of the Lord’s work and presence with Paul. The Thessalonians were his joy because he saw them safely enfolded with him in the arms of Jesus forever. The Christian’s joy is in the presence of Jesus, where, having received our crown of rejoicing, we sing and praise and give thanks continually. How wonderful to think of seeing people dear to us there, and those we have led to Christ or nurtured in Him.

Prepare.
1. Do you think it’s important that Christians should look forward to the day of Christ’s return? How might we do that?

2. Paul saw the glory of God in the lives of those he served with the Gospel. Do you expect to see the glory of God in your work in your Personal Mission Field? What would that look like?

3. Of whom can you say, “For you are our glory and joy”? Why is it important that you tell them that?

We must, however, infer from this, that Christ's ministers will, on the last day, according as they have individually promoted his kingdom, be partakers of glory and triumph. Let them therefore now learn to rejoice and glory in nothing but the prosperous issue of their labors, when they see that the glory of Christ is promoted by their instrumentality. The consequence will be, that they will be actuated by that spirit of affection to the Church with which they ought.  John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 1.19

Lord, whom can I encourage today, like Paul encouraged the Thessalonians? Bring them to mind, Lord, and I…

Pray Psalm 115.1-18.

Ask the Lord to guard you against idols, distractions, or hindrances of the devil, and to shield and guide you as you seek to increase in His blessings and bless the people to whom He sends you.

Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 115 (Plainfield: Nothing But the Blood of Jesus)
Not to us, O God, not us, but unto Your Name give glory!
For Your love and faithfulness, ever to Your Name be glory!
Why should the nations cry, “Where is their God on high?”
You rule us, Lord, on high: Ever to Your Name be glory!

Idols made by men’s own hand – ever to Your Name be glory –
see nor hear nor understand – ever to Your Name be glory!
They neither feel nor walk, nor can they speak or talk;
All those who serve them fall, but unto Your Name be glory!

All who trust in Jesus yield – ever to His Name be glory –
find in Him their help and shield: Ever to Your Name be glory!
O Israel, trust the Lord!  He helps us evermore!
Fear Him obey His Word: Ever to Your Name be glory!

Blessings from our gracious Lord – ever to Your Name be glory –
will attend us evermore: Ever to Your Name be glory!
Bless all who fear You, Lord, all who obey Your Word,
All who Your Name adore: Ever to Your Name be glory!

Grant us, Savior, great increase: Ever to Your Name be glory!
Bless us with eternal peace: Ever to Your Name be glory!
Heaven and earth are Yours; let every soul adore
And bless You evermore: Ever to Your Name be glory!

T. M. Moore

Where do 1 and 2 Thessalonians fit in the unfolding of God’s covenant? Our course, Introduction to Biblical Theology, can help you understand the setting of all the books of the Bible, and how they fit into God’s unfolding plan of redemption. Watch the brief video introducing this course at The Ailbe Seminary (click here), then plan to register after January 1 in our Certificate in Kingdom Studies program, featuring Introduction to Biblical Theology.

Forward today’s study to some friends, and challenge them to study with you through this series on 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Each week’s lessons will be available as a free PDF download at the end of the week. Get a copy for yourself and send the link to the download to your friends. Plan to meet weekly to study Paul’s ministry and prepare for your own.

If you value Scriptorium as a free resource for your walk with the Lord, please consider supporting our work with your gifts and offerings. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button  at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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