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1 Thessalonians 3:6-10 - November 30, 2010
But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.
1 Thessalonians 3:6-10
Paul was very concerned about the believers in Thessalonica because of Satan's attacks against their faith by the trials of persecution. However, his heart was gladdened and filled with thanks to God when Timothy returned from visiting that congregation and reported that those people were "standing firm in the Lord." Those faithful Christians greatly encouraged the Apostle even as he faced distress and persecution. Paul was uplifted to know that his preaching was not in vain, and he rejoiced that God was preserving in the faith those believers who were so special to him.
After receiving the encouraging report from Timothy, the Apostle wanted to make a return visit to his friends in Thessalonica even more. This was his incessant prayer that "we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith."
The word "supply," which Paul used, is a sailing term; one that paints a picture worth remembering. Paul's prayer was "that we may see you again and 'lade' you with what is lacking." To "lade" a ship is to resupply it with whatever it has run low on during its voyage. A ship can bob around on the water for a long time without refueling or taking on supplies. But it will become a ghost ship, moved along by deep currents and blown about by strong winds. Eventually it will run aground, unless it receives the regular lading of supplies to propel it forward and sustain and strengthen the crew so they can keep the ship on course and successfully complete the voyage.
What was "lacking" among the Thessalonians was not anything that kept them from eternal life. Faith in Jesus as their Savior was all they needed, but "resupplying" was also very important—and so it is for us on a regular basis. We need a steady supply of God's Word to dispel our doubts, to assure us of God's love, to comfort us in our sorrows, to keep us pointed in the way God wants us to go, to strengthen our faith, to ward off temptation, to keep growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to finally come to the end of this life's journey and "dock" in the tranquil harbor of heaven.
Heavenly Father, regularly supply me with your Word to strengthen my faith in Jesus and help me to live in the joy and confidence that he is my Savior. As I hear and learn your Word, guide me according to your loving purpose and bring me safely home to you. Amen.
Today's Devotion is brought to you by WELS and www.WhatAboutJesus.com
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