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Encouragement

July 22, 2010

Building Strong Friendships in Christ

Establishing Blameless Hearts Today

"so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints."

1 Thessalonians 3:13 Page 1849  

        One day Jesus will appear with all His saints, and we will rise to meet Him.  As we look forward to that day, what will our hearts be like then?  Jesus works right now to establish our hears without blame in holiness for the day Jesus appears.

        In 1 Thessalonians 3:13, Paul has just explained to the Thessalonians how much the ministry team misses them, and how they all long to see each other.  Paul focuses upon their love for one another.  Then Paul links that love to their holiness.  Let me emphasize this huge point again.  Holiness without blame comes, in part, from having more and more love for the your spiritual friends.

       Paul uses the term "establish" here, and it means to strengthen, make firm, or fix.  In 1 Thessalonians 3:2, Paul used the same term to describe the ministry team sending Timothy to Thessalonica to strengthen their faith.  In 1 Thessalonians 3:13, Jesus strengthens the faith of the Thessalonians so that they will be blameless before Christ when He appears with His saints.  Paul will develop this great promise of the coming of Christ in the clouds where the saints alive on earth will be caught up into the air to meet Jesus, who is coming with all the believers who have already died in Christ.

       So, Jesus tells the Thessalonians that when He increases their love for one another, He also prepares them to be blameless in holiness.  As we love more, we become more holy, that is, more like God.  As we saw yesterday, only those born of God and who know God truly love with God's love.  Blameless also implies that we have not missed opportunities to love and to share God's love upon earth as His ministers.  Therefore, if you long for more holiness in your life, then love more.

    So, we learn some more about building strong friendships in Christ.

     ●  Strong bonds of friendship form when we love each other with the love of God, and let Jesus strengthen our hearts in love.

      ●  Strong bonds of friendship grow when we believe that Jesus will cause us to love more and more, so that we will stand before Him without blame when He comes with all His saints.

      ●  We harm our bonds of friendship when we do not love one another, and do not let Jesus strengthen us to love more, so that we will miss opportunities to love one another before He returns with all His saints. 

Application for Today

        Today, I will see Jesus strengthening me to love people more and more, so that He will strengthen me to be without blame in holiness when He appears with all His saints.  Will you let Jesus strengthen your heart in blameless holiness today?