October 15

1 Thessalonians 3

Apostle Paul writes with genuine care about the church family and their faith, praying that the men and women don’t stray from their faith and petitioning the Father that they can add to their faith.

In verses 12-13 Paul states his prayer and desire that the Lord will cause them to increase and abound in love toward one another and to all. Paul tells of his love for them as well. Then, because of LOVE, God will establish their hearts blameless in holiness. A holy life is lived by loving God and loving people. The reason is become love is not going to harm someone else. If love is not our motive for holiness, we easily slip into trying to earn our favor with God and each other based on our performance. If love is not our motive, people could withdraw from God and one another. Love causes us to yield to God and prefer each other, compelling us to put our love into action. God’s Spirit helps us to live in the power of His love.

Isaiah 56-58

Isaiah’s prophecy continues in chapter 56 with salvation for the Gentiles. He says, “Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer.” God says He will accept the offerings from the Gentiles, “For My house shall be called a house of prayer,” and God says, “…for ALL nations.”

In Isaiah 56:9 the prophetic word is for Israel’s irresponsible leaders. He mentions shepherds who lack an understanding, looking to their own way, for their own gain. He calls them greedy. This can serve as a reminder to pastors today to serve the Lord, not themselves. It’s a reminder to care for the ones God gives, not to be greedy and try to take from someone else.

In Isaiah 57, we read about Israel’s idolatry; however, in verse 13 God says, “He who trusts in Me shall possess the land.” If Israel, or we, put trust in anyone or anything else, it is idolatry, and God says the wind will take what we have and carry it away. God also makes a promise for those who repent of their idolatry and return to Him. Thank God for His mercy!

Isaiah 58 is a passage on repentance and dependency on the Lord. It is about faith and obedience, and it includes fasting, or self-denial. He says in verse 14, that if we delight ourselves in the Lord instead of self-indulgence, He will cause us to ride on the high hills of the earth.” This is a promise of restoration through repentance. God is good!

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