The Love That Leads to Prayer, Part 7 (Praying Through the Bible #453)
TEXT: 1 Thessalonians 3:6-13
6 But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:
7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:
8 For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.
9 For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;
10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.
12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
J. C. Ryle said, “If you want to find out how much someone loves you, find out how much they pray for you.”
In our last message in this series, we looked at how the Apostle Paul prayed that the love of the Thessalonian Christians might abound. Like the Thessalonians, we ought to abound in love towards our fellow Christians and to the world as Paul did to the church of Thessalonica. We ought to strive to have such Christlike love that younger Christians can look to us as examples.
Third, Paul prayed that their hearts might be holy. 1 Thessalonians 3:13 says, “To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.” It is Paul’s prayer that the hearts of the Thessalonian Christians be made holy and unblameable before God. This holiness and unblameableness is because of the sanctifying work of Jesus Christ, what theologians call “positional sanctification.” Through His sacrifice on the cross, our sins are made white as snow in the eyes of God. This holiness and unblameableness also refers to what theologians call “experiential sanctification”, which is when we are conformed to the character of Christ as we follow the guiding of the Holy Spirit through our Christian walk. The positional sanctification that we receive through Christ at the moment of salvation makes us blameless before God and delivers us from sin and the punishment of sin in the lake of fire. The experiential sanctification that we gradually receive as we are conformed to the image of Christ makes us blameless when we as Christians are put before the judgment seat and must give account of ourselves and our works to God so that we will receive the appropriate reward. David Guzik said, “Paul knew that God wanted the Thessalonians to have their hearts established blameless in holiness. The idea behind holiness is to be set apart from the world and unto God. The genuinely holy person is separated away from the domination of sin and self and the world, and they are separated to God. The heart must be made holy first. The devil wants us to develop a holy exterior while neglecting the interior, like whitewashed tombs, full of death. Paul was reminded of Jesus’ return, because nothing can encourage us to holiness like remembering that Jesus might come today.” Adam Clarke said, “God is coming to judge the world; every hour that passes on in the general lapse of time is advancing his approach; whatsoever he does is in reference to this great event: and whatsoever we do should be in reference to the same. But who in that great day shall give up his accounts with joy? That person only whose heart is established in holiness before God, so as to bear the eye and strict scrutiny of his Judge. Lay this to heart, for thou knowest not what a moment may bring forth. When thy soul departs from thy body it will be the coming of the Lord to thee.”
Andrew Reed wrote:
Spirit divine, attend our prayer,
And make this house your home;
Descend with all your gracious pow’r;
O come, great Spirit, come!
Come as the light; to us reveal
Our emptiness and woe,
And lead us in those paths of life
Where all the righteous go.
Come as the fire and purge our hearts
Like sacrificial flame;
Let our whole soul an off’ring be
To our Redeemer’s name.
Come as the dove, and spread your wings,
The wings of peaceful love;
And let your Church on earth become
Blest as the Church above.
Spirit divine, attend our prayer;
Make a lost world your home;
Descend with all your gracious pow’r;
O come, great Spirit, come!
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Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.