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1 Thessalonians 2:13-20
Those ‘Talking God’s Word Blues’ 103111
It is very difficult to talk to people as a Christian, and often I need to sit back and tell myself “What am I telling people?” Sometimes I think I could sing a blues song based on the difficulty of telling people the incredible joy of knowing God’s love. It makes me blue sometimes.
As Christians, and like Paul in 1 Thessalonians today we are trying as Christians to communicate with people, and tell them about Jesus. But as Paul reminds us, we don’t and can’t exactly relate this to people’s experience, or talk in their language, because we are trying to tell them God’s word and God’s truth (when what most people want a Christian to do is to reaffirm what the world has already told them).
It’s a sad reality, but if people see something on Facebook, on the internet or on TV they instantly repeat it as true. Yet, gaining a listener to the truth of Jesus is very, very difficult. Each day I must try to learn how to communicate these truths.
Pray for the wisdom of those who try to reach out, but seem forever to lack the exact words people need to hear. May Jesus and the Holy Spirit bring us those words. Pray for peace.
1Happy is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways.
2You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.
3Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
4Thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.
5The Lord bless you from Zion. May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
6May you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel!
18But even in those days, says the Lord, I will not make a full end of you. 19And when your people say, “Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?” you shall say to them, “As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve strangers in a land that is not yours.”
20Declare this in the house of Jacob, proclaim it in Judah: 21Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but do not see, who have ears, but do not hear. 22Do you not fear me? says the Lord; Do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as a boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves toss, they cannot prevail, though they roar, they cannot pass over it. 23But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; they have turned aside and gone away. 24They do not say in their hearts, “Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives the rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain, and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest.”
25Your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have deprived you of good. 26For scoundrels are found among my people; they take over the goods of others. Like fowlers they set a trap; they catch human beings. 27Like a cage full of birds, their houses are full of treachery; therefore they have become great and rich, 28they have grown fat and sleek. They know no limits in deeds of wickedness; they do not judge with justice the cause of the orphan, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy. 29Shall I not punish them for these things? says the Lord, and shall I not bring retribution on a nation such as this? 30An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: 31the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule as the prophets direct; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?
4When the entire nation had finished crossing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua: 2“Select twelve men from the people, one from each tribe, 3and command them, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the middle of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood, carry them over with you, and lay them down in the place where you camp tonight.’” 4Then Joshua summoned the twelve men from the Israelites, whom he had appointed, one from each tribe. 5Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, one for each of the tribes of the Israelites, 6so that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ 7then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off in front of the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the Israelites a memorial forever.” 8The Israelites did as Joshua commanded. They took up twelve stones out of the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord told Joshua, carried them over with them to the place where they camped, and laid them down there. 9(Joshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the covenant had stood; and they are there to this day.)
10The priests who bore the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan, until everything was finished that the Lord commanded Joshua to tell the people, according to all that Moses had commanded Joshua. The people crossed over in haste. 11As soon as all the people had finished crossing over, the ark of the Lord, and the priests, crossed over in front of the people. 12The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over armed before the Israelites, as Moses had ordered them. 13About forty thousand armed for war crossed over before the Lord to the plains of Jericho for battle. 14On that day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they stood in awe of him, as they had stood in awe of Moses, all the days of his life. 15The Lord said to Joshua, 16“Command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, to come up out of the Jordan.” 17Joshua therefore commanded the priests, “Come up out of the Jordan.” 18When the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord came up from the middle of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet touched dry ground, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and overflowed all its banks, as before. 19The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they camped in Gilgal on the east border of Jericho.
20Those twelve stones, which they had taken out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal, 21saying to the Israelites, “When your children ask their parents in time to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel crossed over the Jordan here on dry ground.’ 23For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we crossed over, 24so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, and so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
1 Thessalonians 2:13-20
13We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word, which is also at work in you believers. 14For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you suffered the same things from your own compatriots as they did from the Jews, 15who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out; they displease God and oppose everyone 16by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. Thus they have constantly been filling up the measure of their sins; but God’s wrath has overtaken them at last.
17As for us, brothers and sisters, when, for a short time, we were made orphans by being separated from you—in person, not in heart—we longed with great eagerness to see you face to face. 18For we wanted to come to you—certainly I, Paul, wanted to again and again—but Satan blocked our way. 19For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? 20Yes, you are our glory and joy!
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Joshua 3:7-17 – Where Do We Go From Here (brianarant.wordpress.com)
- Twenty-Four Memorial Stones (JOSHUA 4) (fellowshiproom.org)
- Marking God’s Faithfulness (thesparrowsneststl.wordpress.com)
- The Misunderstood Altar (JOSHUA 22) (fellowshiproom.org)
- Crossing the Jordan River (JOSHUA 3) (fellowshiproom.org)
- More Conquering by Joshua (JOSHUA 10-12) (fellowshiproom.org)
- Joshua’s Leadership Accepted (JOSHUA 1, part 2) (fellowshiproom.org)
- Set This Stone (0verfl0wing.wordpress.com)