Advent 2016-4: Love each other

Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more.’     1Thessalonians 4:9-10


Advent day 3: Source of Strength

“May [theLord] strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.” 1 Thessalonians 3:13

As we saw yesterday Jesus is the ultimate fulfilment of God’s promise to his people. The New Covenant who promises restoration and reconciliation.

In Jesus we are released from a rule-based way of life to a Spirit-led way that both transforms our hearts and at the same time examines them.

These verses in 1 Thessalonians look forward to Christ’s return and the final resolution, healing, reconciliation and the making new of all things. They show us that it is our hearts that are important. They need ‘strengthening’. So what does that mean? Well I think it means confessing the things we have done and the things we have not done. Repentance to use a religious word. It’s acknowledging before God that we continually get things wrong and need God in our lives to strengthen and sustain us, so that we might be Holy and blameless in His sight.

As I reflected on this, I considered my own readiness for that day when Christ comes again. I am prompted to think about a daily prayer of confession to ‘strengthen my heart’.

Almighty God,
long-suffering and of great goodness:
I confess to you,
I confess with my whole heart
my neglect and forgetfulness of your commandments,
my wrong doing, thinking, and speaking;
the hurts I have done to others,
and the good I have left undone.
O God, forgive me, for I have sinned against you;
and raise me to newness of life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
( from

Jesus is coming … Are you ready?


Today’s Advent blog that inspired this post Pause, Ponder, Prepare