Scripture Reading: II Thessalonians 3:1-5
“May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.” (II Thessalonians 3:5)
Paul prays that the Lord will direct our hearts. God is concerned about our hearts. Our thoughts, motives, and attitudes flow from our hearts — “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Jesus said, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” (Matthew 15:19). For these reasons, we need the Lord to direct our hearts, to point them in the right direction and ensure that they get to the destination He intends.
Notice where Paul prays for the Lord to direct our hearts. First, we need our hearts directed to the love of God. There has to be a change in the seat of the affections of our hearts. We must love Jesus more than we love ourselves. Love motivates us to honor God and it gives us the desire to obey Him.
But we must first realize how much God loves us. His love is strong, sovereign, unconditional, unending, and it is not fully comprehensible — “that we may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:18,19). We must remember that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38,39).
Second, we need the Lord to direct our hearts to the steadfastness of Christ — “For consider Him who endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3). The steadfastness of Christ enables us to bear up through times of adversity, tribulation, suffering, affliction and hostility — “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
When God directs our hearts to His love and to the steadfastness of Christ, we will be able to endure all things. We will find a new love, joy and peace in our hearts and we will seek to love and to follow our Savior.
Lord, direct my heart to Your love. Let me be reminded how much You love me, for I know that You love me with an everlasting love. I also pray that You will direct my heart to the steadfastness of Christ. May I look to Him so that I will not grow weary and lose heart.
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