Reflections Week of 11/5/17

Different members of our church family write these reflections each week to go along with the two year reading plan the church is participating in. It is our hope that these reflections help you to get in to your Bible throughout the week and be challenged by the word of God.

Read Psalm 92

It is good to give thanks and to praise the name of the Most High. So starts the psalmist in Psalm 92 and he does just that throughout this Psalm – He praises God for a few things: His steadfast love, His faithfulness, and for His works. The majority of the psalm is made up of the psalmist praising God for His works – specifically His justice over His enemies.

What stands out to me about this psalm is that the psalmist is overflowing with thanksgiving and praise. He writes this psalm with exuberance and deep joy in the Lord. How often do you and I express this same joy and exuberance to the Lord? Do we delight to give thanks for His good gifts to us? Oftentimes we enjoy the good gifts that God gives us and forget to take them back to Him by saying thank you.

This week, take some time to give thanks to God in whatever way you express yourself best. Write a song to Him, make Him a craft, or pour out your heart to Him in a letter. And pause in the moments you already give thanks – at meals or before bed, and let your heart feel thankfulness and joy for the good gifts God gives.

Read 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

The Thessalonians were going through some trials when Paul wrote this letter to them. They were struggling with persecution and laziness and other trials. Paul writes 2 Thessalonians to encourage, correct, and comfort them, and this particular passage is filled with a particular kind of encouragement and comfort called exhortation. Exhortation goes beyond positive encouragement and warm comfort to urge somebody to take action. It can be commanding, even begging, and it might include teaching, comforting, and instruction. To exhort someone is to seek to build them up with strength.

Paul delivers a powerful exhortation to the Thessalonians right here – “Stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us” (v 15). He knows they are going through hard times and he tells them to plant themselves firmly in the traditions they were taught – the gospel – and to not budge. You are probably not going through the same kind of persecution the Thessalonians were, but the principle remains – stand firm! Don’t budge in the face of adversity, but hold firmly onto the gospel and seek out the Scriptures like your life depends on it.

Last week was the 500th anniversary of the European Protestant Reformation, a time when the church went through drastic changes and reforms. One of the main cries of the Reformation was “Sola Scriptura” – Scripture alone! The reformers saw that the church had become corrupted by not following and submitting to the Scriptures and their deep desire was to see the church hold firm to the Word and not budge even for a moment on the truth.

Can you think of a specific area in your life where you need to make your grasp on Scripture stronger? Maybe it’s a particular sin or situation you need wisdom for. Think back to the sermon on Sunday – was there a point of application from the Bible you need to work on?

Reflections written by Monica Friesen

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