Wednesday, December 15, 2010

1 Thessalonians 3

NLT10 Night and day we pray earnestly for you, asking God to let us see you again to fill the gaps in your faith.
NASB10 as we night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face, and may complete what is lacking in your faith.
I wondered what this meant...why would the new believers need a filling in of their faith?

 The following definition was offered by the New Testament Greek Lexicon for the NASB version for the word KATARTIZO.

    1. to render, i.e. to fit, sound, complete
    2. to mend (what has been broken or rent), to repair
      1. to complete
    3. to fit out, equip, put in order, arrange, adjust
      1. to fit or frame for one's self, prepare
    4. ethically: to strengthen, perfect, complete, make one what he ought to be
Other ways the word is used are listed here...
Mark 1:19 Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets.
Luke 6:40 "A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher."
Gal. 6:1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.Hebrews 13:20-21   Now the God of peace..., ... equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
So, it seems that in the wake of the fierce assault on their community of faith, their individual faith had been shaken or damaged.  Like a net that needs mending is still a net, so their faith was still faith; but faith that needed a bit of untying and retying.  Perhaps their faith needed lifting and cleaning from the mire and chaos of evil's assault. Had the faith taken damage and needed to be completed and made strong?  Maybe some of the faith had gotten all bunched up over some words and the faith needed some un-bunching.  As Donna pointed out, Paul was obviously greatly concerned over their faith.  And Paul was jealous to take action to strengthen, put in order and ensure the faith was what the faith ought to be. 
  • Am I proactive in making my faith complete, adjusting it to the course laid out by my Father in His Word and not my preferences? 
  • Am I careful in my life to examine my faith to ensure that it's not all bunchy over some words wrongly spoken?  Have I come untied over a situation and/or have I tied myself to an untruth or the world rather than God?
  • Am I too comfortable in my faith and not seeking to stretch and grow the areas of my life which are weak and vulnerable?  Am I being equipped properly for the promised struggles, troubles and opposition?
Lord, You are the Author and Finisher of my faith.  You are to be praised greatly.  Please, in the story of my faith, complete me, strengthen me.  Untie any knots I have wrongly tied to the world or to deceptions and braid them to You.  Please clean my comfort-driven faith until all that is left is faith...a faith you approve.  Make my faith what it ought to be.  Help my heart and head to be receptive to YOUR truths and to the teachers You have put over me.  Give me eyes to see where You desire for me to help another in their braids of faith.  Keep me from causing someone to become all bunched up over my words.

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