Pressing On

Paul's was a looking-forward, leaning-forward faith. Is yours?

2 Thessalonians 3 (7)

Pray Psalm 84.9-12.
O God, behold our shield,
And look upon the face of Your anointed.
For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.
O LORD of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Read 2 Thessalonians 3.1-18.

Reflect.
1. This is a forward-looking chapter in many ways. Why can we say that?

2. We don’t advance in the life of faith without effort – work. What work has the Lord assigned to you?

Meditate.
Reading the apostle Paul always makes me think of a guy running a race who, just as he comes to the finish line, leans into the tape to gain the victory and record the best possible time. Paul’s theology of the Christian life is forward-looking and forward-leaning. Consider the words in this chapter suggesting that disposition: “run swiftly,” “establish and guard,” “do and will do,” “direct your hearts,” “labor and toil night and day,” “work in quietness,” “do not grow weary in doing good,” “give you peace.”

We must not allow our faith to become bogged down in present difficulties or personal complacency. Those who drag their feet as we race together must be admonished, exhorted, and aided in fulfilling their Kingdom-and-glory calling. There’s work to do – good work – and we are all called to it in every area of our lives. God’s grace will enable us for such work; His peace will establish and guard us; and His power will flow through us as we lean toward the tape in our course. Let us run with endurance (Heb. 12.1, 2).

We must not grow weary. We have the infinite strength of God on which to draw, and the example of Paul (v. 7) and others to assure us that, though we have to pass through valleys of tears from time to time, the grace of God will establish, guard, sustain, and renew us as long as we are pressing on in our walk with and work for Him.

Prepare.
1. Would you describe your own faith in Christ as “forward-looking and forward-leaning”? Explain.

2. Where do you need to press on in your walk with and work for the Lord today?

3. How can you prepare for the valleys of tears you will certainly have to go through, so that you keep “leaning” toward the Kingdom and glory of God as you do?

For this is the only thing that sustains us in the warfare of the present life, that we wait for the Redeemer; and farther, this waiting requires patient endurance amidst the continual exercises of the cross.. John Calvin (1509-1564 AD) Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 3

Today, Lord, help me to run my race with endurance, especially as I…

Pray Psalm 84.

The Christian life is a journey. We are living sacrifices in that journey (Rom. 12.1, 2), and while we are pressing on toward the Lord’s house forever, He dwells with us even now, to make all our valleys of tears opportunities for trusting and rejoicing in Him. Commit this day’s journey to the Lord, then press on!

Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 84 (Holy Manna: Brethren We Have Met to Worship)
Lord of hosts, how sweet Your dwelling; how my soul longs for Your courts! 
Let my soul with joy keep telling of Your grace forever more. 
Like a bird upon the altar let my life to You belong. 
Blessed are they who never falter as they praise Your grace with song! 

Blessed are they whose strength is founded in Your strength, O Lord above. 
All whose hearts in You are grounded journey in Your strength and love. 
Though they weep with tears of sadness, grace shall all their way sustain. 
In Your presence, filled with gladness, they shall conquer all their pain. 

Lord of hosts, my prayer receiving, hear me, help me by Your grace! 
In Your courts I stand believing; turn to me Your glorious face! 
Lord, our sun, our shield, our glory, no good thing will You deny 
To those who proclaim Your story, and who on Your grace rely.

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 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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