I have been asked many times during my trips if we have to worship in the chapel. Or, which chapel is the right place to worship. The word they use in the Philippines came from the Spanish priests. “Simbahan”. “Simba” means worship and “han” means place. So naturally they assume the building is the place to worship. Read Genesis 22:1-12 and notice in many translations verse 5 says Abraham worshipped on Mount Moriah.
And what did he do there? Sacrifice. This makes us think of sacrifice as worship. In fact what we sacrifice for God is our worship to him. It’s that we should worship God as we love God. With all of our being and available resources.
In 2nd Timothy the Apostle Paul was writing to Timothy and told him to teach Faithful Men who would also teach others. This instruction applies to us also. One of the things that I was pleased to hear and see during my last trip to the Philippines was one of the young ministers thanking us for our persistent visits. Regardless of how difficult the hiking or the travel by bus for endless days or how poor the food is, we keep at it – teaching and leading expeditions all over the Philippines.
He thanked us for not only teaching them God’s Word, but for teaching them how to teach others also and at the same time teaching them how to teach others to teach others. At the seminar recently we saw the result of this kind of teaching. About 130 teenagers attended; they are the product of our teaching through several generations. This is why teaching the Bible stories is so important. If you have a good foundation in the entire book of Genesis, then continue to add the other stories. If you have a fairly clear understanding of the progress of the Old Testament stories you will have the faith and the desire to teach it to others.
Larry Rankin, of Cashmere, Washington, spends about 6 months every year in the Philippines, seeking out any and all who will listen to God’s Word. He conducts home Bible studies everywhere he goes – sometimes with people who have never heard the gospel message – sometimes with those he knows well who look forward to his visits every year.
2nd Thessalonians 3
This letter starts out asking for prayer that the word of the Lord spread rapidly and be honored. My favorite verse of this chapter is verse 3: “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” You may go through trials, but God is always with you. In the end He will prevail; we will be with him and other believers for eternity.
The 2nd part of this chapter tells us that we need to be busy…Not busybodies. It tells us not to be idle and to stay away from those who are. We are to never tire of doing what is right. I know that is difficult at times. Sometimes we don’t want to wait the 20 seconds to hold the door open; we are in a hurry to do something else or we just don’t want to help. This set of verses tell us to live according to the teachings and continue our hard work.
It has been a pleasure writing the devotionals this week. Thank you Marcia for all the work you put into this every day! I would like to close the same way Paul does in verse 16 and 18: “16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.”
2nd Thessalonians 2
This chapter talks about the coming of the Lord Jesus. It tells us not to be alarmed by others saying that the day of the Lord has already come. We are not to be deceived. This chapter mentions several things that need to happen before Jesus returns.
- Rebellion occurs
- The man of lawlessness will be revealed; he will set himself up in God’s temple and proclaim he is God.
When the lawless one is revealed, the Lord Jesus will overthrow him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him. Satan will display counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders to try to deceive us all. We need to be ready. We need to anchor ourselves in the word of God, watching for these things. Stand strong in your faith and do not be deceived. I am going to end this devotional with verses 16-17:
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
Tomorrow we will talk about 2nd Thessalonians 3.
2nd Thessalonians 1
2nd Thessalonians is another letter from Paul. He speaks about thanking God that their faith and love is growing. They were being persecuted and had many trials, yet they persevered. They held on to their faith and did not turn away from God.
This passage also speaks about those who do not have a relationship with God. Verse 8 says: “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” We need to make sure we are sharing God’s love and Jesus’s death to others. But wait you say, I am not a pastor or youth leader, how do I share that? You share that by living a life that is pleasing to God. Lead by example; you never know who is watching you. Speak up about what God has done in your life. Don’t be afraid of what people will think; think of what God will think. Honor Him in all you do.
Tomorrow we will look at 2nd Thessalonians 2.
The Day of the Lord is Coming!
1St Thessalonians 5
Chapter 5 speaks about the day of the Lord coming like a thief in the night. People will speak of peace and safety but destruction will come on suddenly. The cool thing is that we are not in darkness; we know the end is coming. We know what the end is and who wins. Jesus died for us. He died so we could live. We need to make sure we are encouraging each other with these words. We all go through hard times, but we need to remember that no matter how hard it is now, the kingdom will be awesome!
The 2nd part of chapter 5 gives us some final instructions on how to treat people. We need to be respectful, encouraging, patient, kind, and give warnings when needed. Verse 16-18 says:
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I never truly understood verse 17 until I had children. I always wondered how someone could pray continually. Now I know, prayer does not have to be in a closet by yourself; it can be anywhere, anytime. We are told to test everything, hold on to good, and avoid every kind of evil. We need to share this with all of our brothers and sisters, and as mentioned before, pray for one another.
Tomorrow we will go over 2 Thessalonians 1.
1st Thessalonians 4
This is one of my favorite chapters. I will explain why shortly; first, I want to point out that this chapter talks about living to please God. Verse 1 not only asks, but urges us in the Lord Jesus to please God more and more. It says to control our bodies in a way that is holy and honorable. We are told to love each other. It seems like I have heard that before? How about in Mark 12:30-31 New International Version (NIV) where it says:
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
If we follow those commandments, we will please God. And if it is mentioned more than once, it must be important.
Now the reason this is one of my favorite chapters is because it speaks about the sleep of the dead. It says that one day Jesus will return and those who have fallen asleep have hope. We have HOPE! Hope of what you ask? Hope of meeting the Lord in the air and being with Him and God FOREVER! Verse 18 says to encourage each other with these words. So I tell you encourage each other that we will be able to live for eternity with not only other believers but also God and Jesus.
Tomorrow we will talk about the last chapter of 1st Thessalonians, Chapter 5.