March 28, 2017
- By Ed Powell
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"Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold to the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle." 2 Thessalonians 2:15
Paul had gained the confidence and love of the Christians in the church at Thessalonica as he had ministered among them. He taught them the truth and many had believed. There was a growth in grace evidenced by their exceeding faith, their abounding love for God and one another, and their patience in the midst of cruel trials and persecutions. Now it was time for them to stand fast, to hold on, and to "dig in" to what they had been taught.
One of the beautiful characteristics of Paul's letters to the churches is how he expresses his concern for them, his interest in them, his joy over them, and his life of prayer on their behalf. They were dear to his heart and brothers in Christ. He often says they are bound together with a "bond of the love of God," and in verse 13 refers to their being "loved by the Lord."
This word "loved" combines two aspects of an action: something that occurred in the past, and something that continues into the present. As these believers reflected on this dual significance of God's love, it would take them back to His redeeming love when they received Christ as their Savior.
It also reminded them that God's love for them continues undiminished and uninterrupted to the present time. They could be confident that they would continue to be the objects of His divine love. When Joshua led the people of Israel across the Jordan he set up stones of remembrance (Joshua 4:8-10). Whenever children asked their parents what the stones meant, the parents would tell them of God's faithfulness.
Paul, in challenging these Christians to stand fast, is saying as Moses said to Israel, "REMEMBER ALL THE WAY GOD HAS LED YOU." From what we have received HITHERTO, we may claim by faith all that is HENCEFORTH. Let me remind you of just a few.
In times we need COMFORT, Psalm 18:2: "The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower."
In times of FEAR, Isaiah 43:1-3: "Fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you; when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle you. For I am the Lord your God."
In times of TROUBLE, Psalm 32:7: "You are my hiding place; you shall preserve me in trouble; you will compass me about with songs of deliverance."
In times we need GUIDANCE, Isaiah 42:16: "And I will bring the blind by the way that they knew not; I will lead in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked ways straight. These things I will do unto them, and not forsake them."
Let us thank Him for all the ways "He has led us" and trust Him for all the ways that are ahead of us. From all we have received HITHERTO, let us claim by faith all that is HENCEFORTH. He is faithful that promised. STAND FAST!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2017-03-28
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