Ray of Hope Shining on the Face of a Child

A daily devotion for March 27th

Prayer and Protection

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

2 Thessalonians 3:1-3

Writing from the wicked city of Corinth, Paul is asking that the same thing happen there as had occurred in Thessalonica. God had blessed the apostle's work there. In three short weeks of preaching in the synagogue, God had established a living, vibrant church, calling people out of the darkness and ritual in which they had been bound. That is the power of the Word of God! Just as that word spread rapidly among them, revealing its glory and its ability to change people, Paul now asks for prayer that the darkness of Corinth be penetrated by the gospel.

Many today have lost sight of the naked power of the Word of God. I heard of a college professor in Germany. He is a member of the Lutheran Church, the State church of that country. He had little interest in the local church, which he attended a couple of times a year. He never read the Bible and had no knowledge of the things of Christ. But because he was a prominent citizen, the church asked him to serve on the board. He agreed, and sought to do the best job he could. His efforts resulted in his being asked to serve at the state level, and ultimately on the governing council of the church for the entire nation.

When he reached that level, he became convinced that he ought to know something of the Christian faith, so he went alone to a quiet retreat where he began to read the Bible. He became so fascinated that he read on and on, until at the end of the first week he knelt down in his room and cried out to the Lord to save him. The next week he continued to read till he had covered the entire Bible. He returned to his position of leadership a changed man. He became an influence for change in the church, and is now a powerful voice calling people back to reintroducing God and the Scriptures into the dead machinery of the church.

That is what the Word of God can do. What a tragedy it is when preachers lose sight of the power of the Word of God!

The second thing for which Paul asks is prayer for protection. He suggests that the opposition he faced was coming from within the church itself. There were people who claimed to be believers, but they had no real faith and were making things difficult for Paul. He does not ask for the elimination of this opposition, but only that he might be delivered through it. God does not often take our trials away. If you ask him to do so, he probably will not do it because he knows your need for trial. What he does promise is that he will take you through it. You do not need to fail or give in to wrongful activity because he has already given you what it takes. God is faithful! He will never fail you but will always deliver you, if you trust him.

Lord Jesus, I pray that in my day, just as it was in Paul's day, the Word of God might spread rapidly and be honored.

Life Application

Is there someone you can reach out to, today, offering to pray for them and asking them to pray for you?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

Stand Firm

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