Some reflections from Dale Ann on today's readings...
God cares about our lives I Thess 4:1-12
God is deeply concerned with our daily walk, and how we live the Christian life. The Lord came, not just to make us children of God and to get us into heaven; but also, to enable us to live as the children of God should live, in a dark and sinful world that does not know Him. We must not only persevere to the end, but we should grow in our faith, and walk even more closely with God. We are encouraged to live in Holiness, and cautions us against uncleanness. We are instructed to love each other in brotherly love, live a quiet life, and to honor God .
God gives people the gift of Jesus Psalm 21
This Psalm can be read as a prophecy of the coming of the Messiah. All our blessings are the gifts of goodness and grace from God. We did nothing to earn or merit these gifts; but rather, they are examples of God's goodness. We should look forward with faith, hope, and prayer for what God will do for us.
God forgives sinners by His grace, receives them to His favor, and delivers them from His wrath to come. May He be exalted, by His all-powerful grace, in our hearts, destroying all the strong-holds of sin and Satan. How great should be our joy and praise to behold the Messiah, our Brother and Friend, upon God’s throne, and for all the blessings we may expect from Him! Yet He delights in conferring happiness and glory upon us as poor sinners, who love and trust in Him.
Rejoice in God, not human efforts Isaiah 24:1-16
All people who depend upon their treasures and happiness on this earth, will soon be brought to despair and misery. Sin has turned the earth upside down; the earth has become quite different from what God first created and intended. The world we live in is a filled with disappointment and tears, and our few days on this earth are full of trouble. God's curse applies to all people, regardless of their power and position on earth. Sin brings these calamities upon the earth. The earth is polluted by the sins of men; therefore, it is made desolate by God's judgments. Let men rejoice in God; then no man, no event, can take their joy from them.
Those who rejoice in the Lord can rejoice in trials and tribulation, and by faith, they will triumph. In every fire, in every place, let us keep up our good thoughts upon God and His wonderful mercies.
(Paraphrased excerpts from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, Coffman’s Commentaries on the Bible, and Bible.org.)