My Morning Study 1 Thessalonians 3

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I am listening to BJ Putnam’s cd as I study for tonight’s bible study with my hubby. We are studying 1Thess. 3 (AMP) tonight. There is so much here in this chapter but these are just a few things I have gotten so far from reading it this morning I thought I would share with you.

The first thing that came to me was in the form of a question. “Are you a Timothy?”

Paul & Silas had warned the Thessalonians that they would have to endure troubles, difficulties, & suffering. Concerned about how they were handling it all they sent Timothy to go encourage & strengthen them in their faith. (Vrs 1-5)

God wants to use us to touch the lives of others. Sometimes that means being a Timothy. He was a strengthener, establisher, exhorter, comforter, and encourager to those in need. Many people are hurting, struggling, and going through things in their lives today and need someone like Timothy to come along and build them up. I don’t know about you but I am so incredibly grateful for the Timothy’s in my life that have been sent by God to encourage me during difficult or challenging times! Look for opportunities to be a blessing!

The second thing that stood out to me was about how Timothy was able to return with good news that everyone was remaining in faith and that really encouraged Paul & Silas so much that they praised & glorified God! (vrs 6-9) We don’t always know it but people are always watching to see how we handle situations we are going through. It’s a powerful thing when we rely on God and are able to remain strong & joyful during our trials & tribulations. It can be such a witness & a testimony to others. Most of all, it brings great glory to God.

My favorite part of this chapter is that it ends with verses (12 & 13) that the Holy Spirit gave to my husband when he sought God’s direction in marrying me during a fast. We consider them our love verses. They are the verses we stand on for our marriage. We believe our ministry as a couple is to live a life of extravagant love for God first, then for each other, and let that extravagant love overflow into the lives of others.

Paul’s prayer and declaration over the Thessalonians was that they would increase in their love for each other and that God would continue to strengthen, establish, exhort, comfort, and encourage them all.

That is my prayer for you today my friends. Don’t forget to look for an opportunity to be a Timothy in someone’s life today!  

Have an amazingly blessed and incredible day!

1 Therefore, when [the suspense of separation and our yearning for some personal communication from you] became intolerable, we consented to being left behind alone at Athens.

2 And we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s servant in [spreading] the good news (the Gospel) of Christ, to strengthen and establish and to exhort and comfort and encourage you in your faith,

3 That no one [of you] should be disturbed and beguiled and led astray by these afflictions and difficulties [to which I have referred]. For you yourselves know that this is [unavoidable in our position, and must be recognized as] our appointed lot.

4 For even when we were with you, [you know] we warned you plainly beforehand that we were to be pressed with difficulties and made to suffer affliction, just as to your own knowledge it has [since] happened.

5 That is the reason that, when I could bear [the suspense] no longer, I sent that I might learn [how you were standing the strain, and the endurance of] your faith, [for I was fearful] lest somehow the tempter had tempted you and our toil [among you should prove to] be fruitless and to no purpose.

6 But now that Timothy has just come back to us from [his visit to] you and has brought us the good news of [the steadfastness of] your faith and [the warmth of your] love, and [reported] how kindly you cherish a constant and affectionate remembrance of us [and that you are] longing to see us as we [are to see] you,

7 Brethren, for this reason, in [spite of all] our stress and crushing difficulties we have been filled with comfort and cheer about you [because of] your faith ([a]the leaning of your whole personality on God in complete trust and confidence).

8 Because now we [really] live, if you stand [firm] in the Lord.

9 For what [adequate] thanksgiving can we render to God for you for all the gladness and delight which we enjoy for your sakes before our God?

10 [And we] continue to pray especially and with most intense earnestness night and day that we may see you face to face and mend and make good whatever may be imperfect and lacking in your faith.

11 Now may our God and Father Himself and our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) guide our steps to you.

12 And may the Lord make you to increase and excel and overflow in love for one another and for all people, just as we also do for you,

13 So that He may strengthen and confirm and establish your hearts faultlessly pure and unblamable in holiness in the sight of our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) with all His saints (the holy and glorified people of God)! Amen, (so be it)!

Extravagant Love

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I got up to spend time with “Daddy” God this morning in prayer and reading His Word and He led me to Psalm 63:1-4 (MSG)
“God—you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you! … I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God, traveling across dry and weary deserts. So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in your strength and glory. In your generous love I am really living at last! My lips brim praises like fountains. I bless you every time I take a breath; My arms wave like banners of praise to you.”  ♥
Wow! I LOVE these verses! God knows my heart so well!
 
I just wanted share my heart with you today. I really have a strong desire to take my walk with God to another level. I’ve been walking with Jesus for a while now but I want to know Him much more than I did last year, last month, last week, and even yesterday. I want to know Him like never before. I desire to go to another level in my worship, in my praise, in my dedication to the Lord. I want to grow and keep on growing more and more.
I want His light to shine through me and for me to be a true reflection of the love of Jesus in every situation. I want every aspect of my life to bring glory and honor to Him.  
It cannot be just lip service or a thought. I want to eat, breathe, sleep, and live in Him with such zeal and passion that there would be no mistaking me as His daughter.
It’s truly my ♥’s desire. I want to dance with my “Daddy” God. I want to be consumed by His love at all times. I want my love for Him to increase and keep on increasing! Even the thought of it makes my heart rejoice and I feel so alive! & I can’t help it! He is so amazing! So incredible! How could I not want to be closer to Him and know Him more?
 
What about you? I really want to hear from you and know your heart too. So tell me. What do you desire in your walk with God?
What about those of you who are not walking with God at this time or maybe have never have walked with Him? Don’t feel bad or ashamed. We have ALL been there at some time in our life. It wasn’t until I was in my early thirties that I returned to God and took my relationship with Him seriously. It’s not too late for you to turn to Him now. It is about a relationship, not religion and a relationship takes getting to know each other and growing in affection for one another. I cannot help thinking and knowing just how amazing your life will be! Once you experience and begin to know His love for you, you will never be the same. You will have a joy, love, and peace that you have never known before.
It’s as simple as this… just talk to Him. He will speak to you in different ways but most often through His Word the Bible. Get to know Him through His Son, Christ Jesus (Romans 10:9-15). You can learn about Jesus throughout the Bible. If you don’t have a Bible you can always use a resource such as www.biblegateway.com which has different and some easy to read versions. A good place to start is in the book of John. It’s a short book that would take only 21 days to read if you break it up and read a short chapter each day. You will learn about God’s love for you, about the life and character of Jesus which is a reflection of God, and a great deal more. You will love it!
While you do that take a little time to tell the Lord how you feel and what you desire. He longs to hear from you & just a little secret… He knows your heart. He is just waiting for you to go to Him and tell Him yourself. He will not ever force himself into your life. You must invite Him in. Then He can open up the windows of heaven and pour out His extravagant love in you! 
 
There is a few verses I have been meditating on found in Jeremiah 29:11-14 (AMP)… Often times people hear or see verse 11 quoted but there is so much in the verses that follow. I believe you need to read them so you can know His heart and promise to you. Read each one aloud and think about what the Lord is saying to you today.

11 For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.

12 Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.

13 Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will release you from captivity and gather you from all the nations and all the places to which I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I caused you to be carried away captive.

Not only does He promise that He has a good plan for your life but He also promises to be found by you when you seek Him in prayer. Yes! He promises to show up and be there for you. To bring you through and out of things that have kept you in bondage, in captivity. Another thing you should know about Him…is when you let Him into your life He will never leave you. EVER! Look at what Romans 8:31-39 (MSG) says about that:
 
“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”
 
Wow! God promises that absolutely nothing can get between His love for us! That is so relieving and exciting!
So what are you waiting for? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain! Call on the Lord today! He is willing, ready, and waiting for you now!
 
I pray that where ever you are in your walk with God now, whether you are a “seasoned” Christian or just beginning your walk with Him that you will experience His incredibly extravagant love today and always!
 
To all who read, follow, and share my blog with others…Shalom! Shalom!