ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness
GOD IS BLESSED God delights fully in himself and in all that reflects his character.
We imitate God’s blessedness when we find delight and happiness in things that please God. When we’re thankful for the specific abilities, preferences, and other characteristics with which God has created us as individuals, we imitate his blessedness. We find our greatest blessedness—our greatest happiness—in the source of all good qualities, God himself.
Genesis 1:31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!
Praise God that He is Blessed
Praise God that he is full of delight. He is the source of joy and blessedness. Praise him that everything he has made is good. Praise and thank him for sharing his delight with us.
CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100
SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.
- Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
- Pray for unchurched friends. Ask God to give you opportunities to have gospel conversations with those who do not know Him.
1 Thessalonians 3 – Christian Standard Bible
Anxiety in Athens
Therefore, when we could no longer stand it, we thought it was better to be left alone in Athens. 2 And we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s coworker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you concerning your faith, 3 so that no one will be shaken by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. 4 In fact, when we were with you, we told you in advance that we were going to experience affliction, and as you know, it happened. 5 For this reason, when I could no longer stand it, I also sent him to find out about your faith, fearing that the tempter had tempted you and that our labor might be for nothing.
Encouraged by Timothy
6 But now Timothy has come to us from you and brought us good news about your faith and love. He reported that you always have good memories of us and that you long to see us, as we also long to see you. 7 Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and affliction, we were encouraged about you through your faith. 8 For now we live, if you stand firm in the Lord. 9 How can we thank God for you in return for all the joy we experience before our God because of you, 10 as we pray very earnestly night and day to see you face to face and to complete what is lacking in your faith?
Prayer for the Church
11 Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you. 12 And may the Lord cause you to increase and overflow with love for one another and for everyone, just as we do for you. 13 May he make your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. Amen.
What are the marks of spiritual maturity that you have believed or that others have believed? Think about this for a few minutes. Perhaps it is experiences. People who have had powerful and supposed supernatural experiences can consider themselves to be spiritually advanced. For some it is the ability to collect and comprehend theological information. They know true ideas from the Bible. Then there are those whose gifting is of the showier and “up front” type. The ones who can speak and lead are thought to be superior in their maturity. There are many more, but let’s name just one: those who are active and thought to be advanced. They just do lots of “stuff.” There is truth in all of these indicators. People who walk with God over time will have various experiences. Whether they qualify as “supernatural” or not depends on the person, but they will in fact experience God. In addition mature people do grow in their knowledge of God in the Bible. Growing in the knowledge of the truth is an important part of becoming more like Christ. It’s also true that spiritually mature people will grow and use their gifting more and more and they will “do stuff” because of a love for God and others. That last phrase is super important. Love for God and others. The mark of a Christian is love. It is the single mark that is evidence of spiritual life and maturity. If everything else is there and love is missing, then you can be sure, they are not spiritually mature. The encouraging thing about this reality is that you can decide to be mature using this metric. It doesn’t matter what level of intellect, gifting, or special experiences you have. If you determine to live your life growing in love for God and others, then God will surely give you all you need for this kind of life. You will, in fact, become mature and complete, as James wrote, not lacking anything.