gty.org/resources/sermons/90-414

That was wonderful, thank you, Clayton, for leading us in all those musical prayers this morning, and because of the release of the book At The Throne of Grace, everything sort of centered around prayer. And that's wonderfully well-orchestrated by the Holy Spirit because this morning we're going to look at the prayer of the Apostle Paul for the Thessalonian church which we read a little bit earlier, a very fitting connection to the things that are going on.

I do want to say thank you to my children who were so kind and gracious as to produce that book. They told me they wanted to do it. I was a little reluctant but they prevailed on me. And I only asked one thing and that was before you print those prayers, I need to look at them and make sure that the grammar is okay and that that's what I want to say. So there were some slight adjustments since...you're kind of freewheeling when praying, and we hope they'll be a wonderful blessing to you.

I've never had a more wonderful tribute than what is written in there by my four children. I love them, they know that, profoundly and deeply. And this is a wonderful gift back to me. They're precious. Their spouses are equally precious, and their children as well. But this is a wonderful joy for me to have this. So thank you to my children, and I hope you'll be blessed and encouraged by these prayers as well.

The two weeks that we have, last week and this week, before I go away again for three Sundays, to traverse Europe to visit all of our missionaries and preach about 26 times, and I'm sure they'll add another five or six on top of that when we get there. We have these two weeks in this little period of time and because you all have been focusing on me and focusing on finishing the New Testament and now focusing on the book of prayers, that was...it was my desire in my heart to turn that around and to thank you for all that this church is, all it has been, all it is and continues to be in my life by way of profound blessing. So last Sunday we looked at 1 Thessalonians 1 and 2. I chose this letter to spend these two weeks looking at it because this is a church that was a joy to its pastor. Paul says to them at the end of chapter 2, "You are our glory and joy. And you heard me read again in chapters 3 and 4 how delighted he is with them and how much joy they bring to his heart.

This is a church that brought its pastor nothing but joy. There are no condemnations in this letter. There are no warnings in this letter. There are no threats in this letter. There are no exposures of sin in this letter. This church is the one church among those that Paul wrote to in the New Testament that he pastored, shepherded where there was nothing but joy in the ministry there. This is a rare church. But so is our church. And so last week I told you that you are the Thessalonian church of Southern California in this period of history. You have brought me unending joy, constantly joy....

j vimeo.com/71606577

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