1 Thessalonians 3:2-8

Author

Eric Keener

Scripture:

1 Thessalonians 3:2-8

Observation:

- Paul, speaking of his desire to see the church at Thessalonica grow in their faith, sent his disciple Timothy in order that the church be encouraged by him. Despite his longing (ch 2) to be with them, he knew the most important thing was for them to be rooted and bold in their following Jesus Christ.
- Knowing that suffering is part of the Christian life, he assured them that as it is happening, they should not back down or turn away from their faith.
- A good report was brought from Timothy to Paul about how well they love and remember him, easing his concern that his evangelism and discipleship efforts were in vain.
- He ends this section with a phrase about how since they are still being faithful, then all the work he did and all the affliction he is currently suffering was not in vain.

Application:

- Timothy was sent as a tool to encourage the Thessalonians; so, too, we ought consider how to stir one another up in love and good works. We should consistently ask of ourselves, “how might I encourage my fellow Christians today?”
- Another aspect of encouragement could be to help one another remember that affliction is a promise and we should persevere through it, because no matter what happens on earth, the true reward and hope is in our future with God.
- Just as Paul consistently reminded them, we would also do well to remember that following Jesus will result is difficult times and trials, but do not be tempted by comfort and temporary riches, but to press on and run hard.
- Just like Timothy returned to Paul with good news, we have the opportunity to glorify God by often telling each other of how good He is, what prayers He has answered recently, and what work He is doing in our lives.
- Paul has a major concern for the wellbeing of faith in the people he has spent time with. I think a major application should be that we have an urgency to see faith alive and well in our brothers and sisters. We should do whatever it takes to make sure we fan the Holy Spirit into flames – even, like Paul, if it means going to jail over it. It is to our pride and joy to present the lost to Jesus as found in Him – so we would do well to be passionate ambassadors for Jesus. The lost need to be saved and the saved need to be trained and encouraged.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, You are faithful and have pursued us from before the time of our creation. You give us breath and life – please teach us to use it for your glory. Please give us eyes to see the hurts around us and the boldness to encourage one another in our faith. We want to be more like Jesus and know that it takes You to make that happen. Please draw us nearer to you, lead us to repentance, and give us the zeal to do our part to draw near, repent and love. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

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