Extend the blessing you get at the beginning of the week by praying as Jesus taught you throughout the week.
Read / Listen
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 127
Q. What does the sixth request mean?
A. “And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one” means,
By ourselves we are too weak
to hold our own even for a moment.
And our sworn enemies—
the devil, the world, and our own flesh—
never stop attacking us.
And so, Lord,
uphold us and make us strong
with the strength of your Holy Spirit,
so that we may not go down to defeat
in this spiritual struggle,
but may firmly resist our enemies
until we finally win the complete victory.
Yesterday we read Peter's aweseome benediction (the word benediction literally means "good speech." They're words of that often get used to pronouce God's blessing upon His people at the close of our worship services). Today we're focusing on one of the many benedictions Paul wrote.
Just like many of the prayers we read in the Bible, this benediction fits the AAA pattern! It begins by acknowledging who God is: the God of peace. What a tremenendous relationship you have with God! So many people, both historically and today, only know of God's wrath and anger at their sin, but because of Christ, you know your Father as the God of peace!
The benediction goes on to align your life with God's will. But notice who it is that's aligning you: God Himself is sanctifying you, making your life reflect who He's declared you to be, so that your whole spirit, soul and body will be kept blameless when Christ comes again.
You're also promised here that the One who has called you to this salvation will be faithful and will do it! This is why Jesus could promise that He will give you anything you ask for in His name!
A benediction is usually something that pronounced over you. It's not a team effort that you help implement. You sit with your head bowed or your hands outsretched as these words are spoken, and you passively receive the blessing they convey. How else could it possibly be? After all, our Father is omnipotent and holy, whereas we are weak and fallen.
But you don't often stay in the place where you receive benedictions. You go back to your world, so to speak; to the chores, tasks, work and relationships that never seem to go as they should. The busyness creeps back in and before you know it, you're completely distracted and overwhelmed by life. Instead of experiencing blessing and peace, somehow you drifted far away and find yourself surrounded by temptation.
That's why Jesus commanded you to pray often that you would not be lead into temptation, but instead, delivered from the evil one. He doesn't order you to pray these words because the Father needs a reminder to keep leading you down the straight and narrow, but because you need continual reminders to be led.
Praying these simple words, that you'll be led away from temptation, is a benediction-extender. It takes that blessing you often receive at the beginning of the week and extends it over you, shielding you from the assaults daily life comes at you with.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, the God of peace;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you'll not be led into temptation, but instead that your whole spirit, soul and body will be kept blameless until the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ;
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: