Devotional: April 4, 2022
“May God our Father himself and our Master Jesus clear the road to you! And may the Master pour on the love so it fills your lives and splashes over on everyone around you, just as it does from us to you. May you be infused with strength and purity, filled with confidence in the presence of God our Father when our Master Jesus arrives with all his followers.”
First Thessalonians 3: 11-13 The Message
Paul writes an encouraging blessing prayer for the Christians at Thessalonica. This blessing is filled with such rich imagery that it deserves to be the closing blessing, or benediction, in a worship service.
First, Paul asks God to clear the road to Thessalonica, so that he might come for a visit. He is praying that there will be no detours, or delays, the next time he decides to pay a pastoral call on the Thessalonica church. It is a prayer for God to remove barriers, so that people who love one another might see each other again.
Secondly, Paul asks God to pour out His love upon the Thessalonica congregation. The apostle asks God to be lavish with his love. He wants the Almighty to fill up their lives with love, so that is literally sloshing over! Love on top of love, on top of even more love!
Finally, Paul asks that the followers of Christ in Thessalonica be given an infusion. Not an infusion of blood, or medication, but an infusion of strength, purity and confidence. In other words, he doesn’t want to see this church grow weak, or give in to sin. Instead, he implores God the Father to bless them with strength and purity, and confidence in God’s presence.
These words reveal Paul’s heart for this congregation in Thessalonica. He wants God to clear the path, so he can go visit them. Paul also desires that they be filled with love, strength, purity, and confidence in God’s presence.
Over the past couple of years, there has not been as much traveling as before the pandemic. If you are going to see someone you have not seen for some time, are you praying for your journey, and for those whom you love, and are looking forward to seeing?
How often do you start out your daily journey, asking for the Lord to pave the way for you, so there are no obstacles? Do you pray for the people you are going to see today, the ones with whom you will interact? Do you ask the Lord to daily strengthen you? Purifying you, and giving you confidence so that others will see your joy in Jesus?
Paul’s blessing here is a model for how we might pray for our Christian friends, and for ourselves.
Lord of every blessing,
Remove the barriers which might separate me from others, especially my friends in the faith. Guide me and protect me on my journeys. Help those who serve You and witness to others. Shower and splash Your love over them! Fill us all with Your love, and Your strength. May I cling to the knowledge that You are always with me. Thank You for always being there to help me tell others about Your abundant love. I pray this prayer in the name of Your son, Jesus. Amen.