October 14

1 Thessalonians 2

When Paul writes these letters, he is communicating truth or correction to lead back to truth, but he is also sharing his heart. Paul’s motive for sacrificing his life for ministry is both out of love for God and love for people. His aim is to be fruitful in leading and growing people in the Lord. He compares his love to a devoted mother that nurses and cherishes her young children and as a father of children, encouraging and exhorting them personally. He writes, “being tenderly and affectionately desirous of you, we continue to share with you not only God’s good news (the Gospel) but also our own lives as well, for you had become very dear to us.”

As a teacher, not everyone accepted Paul. In fact, many he tried to reach rejected him, cast doubt on his intentions, accused him of wrong motives or false teaching; not to mention being beaten and imprisoned by those on the outside. Yet, Paul was greatly encouraged by those who received him, and they were the ones Paul directed his focus upon. “You welcomed it not as the word of [mere] men, but as it truly is, the Word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe [exercising its superhuman power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it].”

Isaiah 53-55

Prophet after prophet had prophesied the rescue of the Jewish people through an anointed man known as the Messiah. What many Jews did not understand was the mystery in Christ. He was coming to accomplish more than establish a human government. He came to reconcile the human race back to God. The only way He could do that was through sacrificing His life blood. Isaiah 53 is a prophecy about Jesus, their Messiah, who was also the Redeemer of the whole world. He was despised and rejected by His own people for the purpose of punishment and the cross, which led to His resurrection and legal cancellation of the debt of sin. He made a way for salvation for all of humanity, fulfilling the promise to Abraham to be the father of many nations.

Isaiah 53 helps us to understand that the Messiah had two prophesied comings. His first coming would establish a expand a spiritual kingdom made up of Jews and Gentiles that would include multiple generations and a worldwide spread of salvation. The second coming will defeat Israel’s enemies, gather Jews from around the globe, and Jesus will reign from Jerusalem for one thousand years.

Isaiah 54 is about the enlargement of Christ’s kingdom to the Gentile people, inheriting the nations, but also has the dual meaning of Israel’s restoration after captivity under Darius. It also speaks of a rejection and regathering of the Jewish people, something that will happen at Christ’s second coming.

Isaiah 55 is about the mercy and salvation of God, and in verse 5, how God would add nations to the Jewish family. We should be thankful for the Jewish prophets, receiving and declaring future events that is relevant to all of us.

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