1 Thessalonians 2

Author

Rob Schultz

Scripture:

1 Thessalonians 2:1-20

Observations:

· Paul reminds the Thessalonians that he, Silas & Timothy also experienced persecution and suffering (being beaten) in Philippi before they arrived in Thessalonica
· Paul also reminds the Thessalonians that he & his companions shared the gospel in Thessalonica as well in the face of strong opposition from the Jews
· Paul states that he and his companions are apostles of Christ, approved by God and entrusted with the gospel by God, who tests their hearts and motives and is their witness that they were not motivated by greed but to please God.
· Therefore Paul and his companions did not use flattery to please people or exercise their apostolic authority to receive compensation for their work.
· Rather they demonstrated their love and care for the Thessalonians by sharing their lives with them, working hard to provide for their own material needs and living “holy, righteous and blameless” lives among them
· Paul likens their shepherding to spiritual parenting—like a nursing mother and a father
· Paul, Silas and Timothy thank God that the Thessalonians received the gospel as the word of God vs. a human word
· Paul acknowledges their suffering at the hands of the Jewish religious leaders puts them in good company—with the churches of Judea, the Lord Jesus, the prophets and Paul & his companions
· Such opposition to God’s work, especially to the Gentiles being saved, has brought God’s wrath upon the Jews
· While Paul was physically separated from the Thessalonian believers he tried multiple times to go back to Thessalonica but was prevented each time—due to spiritual opposition from their adversary, Satan.
· Why did Paul have such an “intense longing” to see them? Because the Thessalonian believers were their “hope, our joy, or the crown in which they will glory in” when Jesus returns

Application:

· Shepherding is like spiritual parenting. Like nursing moms or fathers, I should not proclaim the gospel and shepherd expecting any earthly or material return but rather shepherd those entrusted to my care knowing they will someday be my joy and reward when I am in the presence of Jesus.
· For the Lord is the one who entrusts shepherds with the gospel, tests their hearts and will ultimately hold them to account—not their flocks. I need to remember who I’m ultimately serving.
· There are times when being blameless means toil and hard work not to be a burden to anyone and there are times like when Jesus sent out the 70 disciples that we are to receive generous hospitality from others

Prayer:

Holy Father,
Thank you for example of Paul, Silas and Timothy who demonstrate that “people work” in your kingdom requires the sharing of life on life. I confess that I hold back my time, my affections and even my own toil and sweat at times when serving your church. Father, cleanse my heart from impure motives and help me to see people as you see them and to toil knowing they will be my joy and crown when my life’s work is judged by you. Spirit—realign my motives and may I receive shepherding from others as well as provide spiritual parenting to younger believers. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

3 comments (Add your own)

1. Jim Asselin wrote:
Thanks Rob,
I am struck by how often I fall into the performance mode in order to please God. The reality is, I am ok'd by God, commissioned by God to be His ambassador. verse 4 tells me I always have His approval. As long as I am checking in with Him regularly through prayer and the Holy Spirit - because the reality of it is, if I am relying on myself it is a terrifying prospect - it's all going to be okay.
So in light of v4 and this passage this morning I send a shout out the Church this morning - You are approved.

Tue, March 17, 2015 @ 8:41 AM

2. Jan Ramirez wrote:
Thanks Rob. =)
I like what you said: "For the Lord is the one who entrusts shepherds with the gospel, tests their hearts and will ultimately hold them to account—not their flocks."
But He also hold us 'accountable' for those times He asks us to step out, but we don't... I feel led to shepherd 2 people; now I need to step out in HIS power, not being held back by my own insecurities, so I can watch THEM grow in their faith. =)

In reading about persecution, I can't help but think of those in 'closed' countries who give up everything to follow Jesus...burn their idols; leave their unGodly 'occupations'; some ostracized from family or community; willing to live for Christ at all costs; spreading His Word behind closed doors...
Yet here am I in a country where I can FREELY proclaim freedom/salvation in Christ, but I hold back...
Father, forgive me. Help me do in YOUR power, what I can't in mine. AMEN.

Tue, March 17, 2015 @ 11:41 AM

3. Rob Schulze wrote:
Jim - great insight bro! On Monday being "approved" did not "speak" to me but after reading your comment and pondering this reality the Spirit is speaking into my soul - "Rob, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel"

Jan - thanks for sharing and go for it as the spirit will use you. And I can so relate-- persecution can be the refiner's fire to move me out of my apathy and overcome my complacent heart. Lord, we do need your power, love and boldness!!

Thu, March 19, 2015 @ 8:25 PM

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