Back to the Blessing - 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 3:1-13
In light of difficult circumstances, are we confident that Serving God, Having Faith in God and Praying to God really matter? Do our circumstances hinder us from diligently living those out? Paul had answers for the Thessalonians and they may be just what we need now as well.
Back to the Blessing
1 Thessalonians 2:19-20, 3:1-4
After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when he returns? It is you! Yes, you are our pride and joy.
Finally, when we could stand it no longer, we decided to stay alone in Athens, and we sent Timothy to visit you. He is our brother and God’s co-worker in proclaiming the Good News of Christ. We sent him to strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith, and to keep you from being shaken by the troubles you were going through. But you know that we are destined for such troubles. Even while we were with you, we warned you that troubles would soon come—and they did, as you well know.
Serving God Really Matters
-Loving Sacrifice and Joy – vs. 2:19-3:2a
But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.
And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.
Encouraging Compassion – vs. 3:2b-4
1 Thessalonians 3:5-8
That is why, when I could bear it no longer, I sent Timothy to find out whether your faith was still strong. I was afraid that the tempter had gotten the best of you and that our work had been useless. But now Timothy has just returned, bringing us good news about your faith and love. He reports that you always remember our visit with joy and that you want to see us as much as we want to see you. So we have been greatly encouraged in the midst of our troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives us new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord.
Faith in God Really Matters
-Good News about their Genuine Faith – vs. 3:5-6a
-Good News about their Authentic Love – vs.3:6a
-Good News about their Cherished Fellowship with Paul - vs.3:6b
-Good News that they are Standing Strong in the Lord - vs.3:7-8
1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy as we enter God’s presence. Night and day we pray earnestly for you, asking God to let us see you again to fill the gaps in your faith. May God our Father and our Lord Jesus bring us to you very soon. And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen.
Prayer to God Really Matters
-Thankfulness in Prayer – vs.3:9
-Intercession in Prayer – vs. 3:10
“Here We Mark the Price of Freedom” - World War 2 Memorial
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." - Martin Luther King Jr memorial
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”