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Monday, November 05, 2018

Admiring God's glory, and a great answer to prayers!

godspromises.jpgDear Praying Friends and Saints:

Last week, this scripture in 2 Thessalonians 1:10 made an extraordinary impression on us, "when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed."

The amazing thing about this is that we can already admire God's glory in the things around us in everyday life, like this wonderful view that awaited me when I arrived at the chapel one morning. We don't need to wait for "when He comes, in that Day" because He opens our eyes and hearts to see. As David says in Psalm 19:1, "The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork."

For us, this act of admiring the amazing goodness of God has two parts. One is the spontaneous wonderment, joy, and gratitude at the beauty He has placed around us. The second part is a bittersweet longing for the multitudes that don't know the Lord. Our hearts cry out that they might be able to see past the natural and know of His love and sacrifice for them, and that they might also find forgiveness of sin and eternal life in Jesus Christ.

frostyivy.jpgAs the cold of winter approaches, we see how this picture illustrates so clearly that there are two kinds of leaves—those from deciduous trees that die and fall off each year, and the evergreen leaves that just stay green year-round. The same frost touches both kinds, but the evergreens stay attached to the source of life, and the other ones don't. And such it is with our souls. Both the saved and unsaved will go through physical death, but because Christ is the vine, we remain attached to His life through faith with thanksgiving. But those who do not believe the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, like these dead leaves, get disconnected from the source of life and are lost.

In this first chapter of 2nd Thessalonians, Paul talks about the coming of God's final judgment and glory, and then ends with this powerful prayer in verses 11-12. "Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ."

I believe that part of the fulfillment that Paul prays for here is that Christ be so glorified in and through our own lives in such a way that others are drawn to admire, and even inquire, about what makes us different. We know it must be His glory and so have opportunities to talk about it. And another part of that fulfillment is that our own admiration of Him and His handiwork include that intercessory longing for all to come and taste that the Lord is good and find eternal life as well.

troleses-funnells.jpgAnd speaking of the fulfillment of prayers, I want to thank you for your prayers for our very dear old friend Bob Trolese for whom I asked for your prayers a few weeks ago. We were overjoyed to get news from him last week, saying that the doctor who administered a PET-CT scan,

"took the time to call before we might receive the written report because he wanted to personally tell us that there were no signs of malignant cancer anywhere! This sudden surprise, of course, staggered us. To this day—and probably for many to come— we are trying to get our arms around the blessings of the Lord in all of this. It was mind-blowing news.  Recovery, if limited, seemed like, in His LovingKindness, a good possibility. A clean bill of health was almost too good to be hoped for. Man, we are stoked!"

Thank you again so much for your prayers. And may you be encouraged in your daily living with and for Him. And so we pray along with Paul, "that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Dick & Gladys


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