ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness
God is TRANSCENDENT
God is not simply the highest in an order of beings (this would be to grant Him eminence). He is transcendent—existing beyond and above the created universe.
The Lord is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high,
Praise the Transcendent God
Praise Him because He is beyond understanding. Praise Him because He created our universe, but He transcends time and space. He exists beyond our world, but He still enters into our world.
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 Christian Challenge. Pray that college students would grow in Christian community. Pray that their time together under the word would be sweet and encouraging. Ask God to move among them tonight.
2 Thessalonians 1 – The Message
1-2 I, Paul, together with Silas and Timothy, greet the church of the Thessalonian Christians in the name of God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ. Our God gives you everything you need, makes you everything you’re to be.
Justice Is on the Way
3-4 You need to know, friends, that thanking God over and over for you is not only a pleasure; it’s a must. We have to do it. Your faith is growing phenomenally; your love for each other is developing wonderfully. Why, it’s only right that we give thanks. We’re so proud of you; you’re so steady and determined in your faith despite all the hard times that have broadsided you. We tell everyone we meet in the churches all about you.
5-10 All this trouble is a clear sign that God has decided to make you fit for the kingdom. You’re suffering now, but justice is on the way. When the Master Jesus appears out of heaven in a blaze of fire with his strong angels, he’ll even up the score by settling accounts with those who gave you such a bad time. His coming will be the break we’ve been waiting for. Those who refuse to know God and refuse to obey the Message will pay for what they’ve done. Eternal exile from the presence of the Master and his splendid power is their sentence. But on that very same day when he comes, he will be exalted by his followers and celebrated by all who believe—and all because you believed what we told you.
11-12 Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, reserved in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power for the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in various trials so that the proven character of your faith—more precious than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with an inexpressible and glorious joy, now that you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1
Relationship with God and growing in experiencing his love and power is our greatest good. Growth, Scripture clearly teaches, is most often the by-product of trials. With these two truths in mind: knowing God is our greatest good, trials help us know him better…how might it change how we think about trials and troubles? Is it too much for God to ask us to “like” trouble? Well, he isn’t asking us to like it, but to learn to rejoice in the results that can come from approaching trouble from a faith perspective. Certainly we are not going to be able to keep trouble from coming, but we can keep trouble from having its possible positive effects. How do we keep trouble from having positive effects? We do so by failing to train our hearts to rejoice in God in the midst of trouble…not because of trouble but because of God. God uses all things to bring about his good purposes; our role is to learn to so rejoice in God that we can see the good in all that he brings our way. I doubt anyone except Jesus has ever mastered this but mastery is not the point, growth is. “Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds.” James was not one for mere flowery speech. He was a practical theologian. We can learn to do this if we just practice doing it. Contemplate what it means to consider trials “pure joy.” Again, you are not trying to “like” what is unpleasant. Your focus is on what God is doing through trials. Ask God to help you think about this. Ask him to help you grow in this.