This is an Advent devotional from Jeffrey Arthurs of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, based on 1 Thessalonians 3:1-13
As we wait for the second Advent, Scripture tells us Satan prowls like a lion, or in the context of this passage, he is a “road cutter.” That term comes from 1 Thessalonians 2:18: “Satan hindered us.” The term “hinder” was originally a military term meaning to “chop” or “cut.” In the ancient world, retreating armies would chop up the road behind them to hinder the advancing army. That’s what Satan does. He hinders the advancement of the gospel by destroying the testimony of the messengers, by causing disunity and by persecuting the witnesses; and that can turn us into “puppies.” The word for “unsettled” in 3:3 was used to describe the wriggling and shaking of puppies. No wonder the apostle thanks God that his dear people in Thessalonica were standing firm (vs. 8), and no wonder he prays that God would strengthen their hearts (vs. 13). As Satan tries to delay, hinder and stop the spread of the gospel, may you be strengthened, and may you be blameless and holy in the presence of God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again (vs. 13).
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