Saturday, December 11, 2010

Weekly Recap #49 - (Part 4) - I and II Thessalonians

I and II Thessalonians are two letters written by the apostle Paul.  The major theme is the return of CHRIST to earth.  Most of Paul's letters are to address concerns in the church, but these two are to a young church taking its first steps in faith.  Paul had founded the church at Thessalonica in around AD 49 or 50...during his second missionary journey.  Paul's stay there was cut short because the Jews gathered some local troublemakers and accused him of "turning the world upside down" by favoring JESUS as King, instead of Caesar.  (Acts 17:1-7)  I loved reading this because the name of our student ministry at our church is "Upside Down Student Ministries"!!!  This accusation was considered treason, which was punishable  by death.  Paul was escorted out of town, leaving Timothy to continue the work.

Three themes appear in these letters:
1) Thanksgiving for their faith in the past and the example they had set
2)  Encouragement for those being persecuted in the present
3)  Exhortation (encouragement) to further work and grow in the future

I Thessalonians was a letter from Paul, Silas and Timothy to the church.
I Thessalonians 1:3
As we pray to our  GOD and FATHER about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring HOPE you have because of our LORD JESUS CHRIST.

I Thessalonians 2:4b-5
Our purpose is to please GOD, not people.  
He alone examines the motives of our hearts. 
Never once did we try to win you with flattery, as you well know.  And GOD is our witness that we are not pretending to be your friends just to get your money! 

Can't you just hear JESUS saying this about us who believe in HIM?

I Thessalonians 2:19-20
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!

I Thessalonians 3:3....we are destined for such troubles.
(we've been warned that we'll experience difficult times!) 
I Thessalonians 3:4....we warned you that troubles would soon come....and they did, as you well know.

I Thessalonians 3:12
And may the LORD make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows.

I Thessalonians in a way that pleases GOD.
I Thessalonians 4:11
Make it a goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands.

I Thessalonians 5:2
For you know quite well that the day of the Lord's return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.

I Thessalonians 5:5-6
You are all children of the light and of the day;  
we don't  belong to darkness and night.
So be on your guard, stay alert and be clearheaded.
I Thessalonians 5:20
CHRIST died for us so that, whether we are dead, or alive when he returns, we can lie with Him forever.

II Thessalonians 2:16-17
Now may our LORD JESUS  CHRIST himself and God our Father, who lived us and by His grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful HOPE comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.

Encourage those who are timid. 
Take tender care of those who are weak.
Be patient with everyone.
Don't pay back evil for evil.
Always try to do good to each other and all people.

II Thessalonians 5:16-22....
Always be joyful.
Never stop praying.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is GOD's will for you who belong to CHRIST JESUS.
Do not stifle the HOLY SPIRIT.
Hold on to what is good.
Stay away from every kind of evil.

Never hesitate to ask for prayer.

II Thessalonians 3:1
Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us.  Pray that the Lord's message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you.

In His Most Precious Love....and with mine!!!

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Kind words are like honey—
sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
Proverbs 16:24