How can anyone possibly know a God of such splendour and glory as the God Christians worship? Only by that God revealing himself. So Paul prays for an outpouring of revelation on the church. For only thus can God’s people grasp what riches and power are available to them in the church.
Today, Paul’s prayer for a church he loved deeply, thanks in part to their support during one of his imprisonments. A God-centred prayer, confident in what God has begun in his people, and purposeful with the long-term in view, that is God’s completion of his good work only at the last day. A prayer for overflowing love and for complete purity.
Paul’s example teaches us to pray ‘big’ for the church. Across the world as well as our own church community. Persistent not just crisis. For growth not just survival. For God’s pleasure in all of believers’ lives. For the future of God’s kingdom in God’s people, until he comes.
Commencing today a short series on the prayers of the Apostle Paul. May we be equipped for our own praying by observing Paul in prayer. Today we consider a short prayer of his for the Thessalonian church. The prayer is founded on an attitude of thankfulness for God’s grace at work in his people and a confidence that God will bring justice and vindication of his people at the right time. On those foundations, Paul prays that God might bring forth the fruit of his Spirit in his church, that he might bring to fruition the good things his people set out to do in his service, that Jesus Christ might be glorified in all that they do, and that in the end they too might share in that glory. Let us pray for one another after that example.
All human authority comes from the supreme Son of God. How should the community of the redeemed handle worldly power at home, at work and in the world? If under authority, submit graciously. If having authority, exercise it after the manner of the Crucified One, that is by service and sacrificial love.
With minds governed by heaven, live out the freedom of the gospel without putting the gospel to shame.
A robust, growing Christian walk is built not by the added ‘vitamins’ of special knowledge, religious formulae or heightened experience, but by the discipline of pursuing more of the Christ we’ve already trusted. Never forget the wonder [v13] that you have been made alive with Christ in whom dwells all the fullness of God.
All believers enjoy the very high honour of being entrusted by God himself with bringing to people the great news of the Gospel. Our service will bring such extraordinary outcomes as the riches of glory; a sure and certain hope; the treasures of knowledge and wisdom; people coming to maturity in Christ; and hearts being encouraged and united in love.
The Christ we worship and serve is more than the man Jesus of Nazareth. He is equal to the Father. He created us and everything else. Nothing, including the church, works without him. And he is fully God. He is not only our redeemer. He is also our creator, the source of our very existence. There is and can be no spiritual path beyond him.
Do you want a richer, fuller Christian experience? Do you want to grow more like Christ sooner? Do you want a deeper experience of God? Then don’t add anything to the Gospel you’ve believed. Instead meditate more and more on how richly God has loved you in Christ and so believe the Truth with deepening passion. Then you will know the Father and love God’s people more.