The call Christians received from the Lord is to live as the salt and the light of the world around them. Their life shoulc be attractive and respectable in the sight of non-believers around that their heart mighty be won to them as well as to the Lord;
- What could we observe the way God declared us as the salt and the light of the world? See also Mt 5:13-14 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
- What could we observe the way we should win the respect/favor of the people around us? See also Mt 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
- How does the Lord want us to impact our world through our life? See also Phil 2:15-16 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life–in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.
- What does the Lord say to you about your light shining to the people around?
- What do you want to do in response to His voice?
God has called his people out of darkness to be holy/sanctified people and gave the Holy Spirit, who empowers each person to honor God through his own body. God has declared that our body is the sacred temple of the Holy Spirit which dwells in it;
- What could we observe the way God has made our body sacred that might honor God? See also 1 Cor 6:19-20 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
- What could we observe the way the devil challenges His people through passion? See also 1 Pet 2:11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
- What could we observe about what to do about our integrity in daily life? See also Job 31:1-4 1 “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.
2 For what is man’s lot from God above, his heritage from the Almighty on high?
3 Is it not ruin for the wicked, disaster for those who do wrong?
4 Does he not see my ways and count my every step?
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your effort to honor the Lord with your body?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might stay sanctified?
God has called us out from the world to be a holy nation and the kingdom of His priest. He has made us holy through the redemption of Christ and now expecting us to stay holy. But how could we attain such quality in such a world like ours;
- What could we observe the way God has separated Hebrew people from among the nations? See also Ex 19:5-6 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
- What is causing God to expect us to be holy? See also Lev 11:45 I am the LORD who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.
- What is it God wants us to experience through sanctification? See also Jos 3:5 Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.”
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your state of holiness in life?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might grow in sanctification?
Paul’s team began to work with those Thessalonian Christians about the new way of living as children of God called out from the world to be a holy nation of the priest among the people who live in the darkness;
- What could we observe the identity God has granted us as we embraced the Lord Jesus as the Lord and Savior? See also 1 Pet 2:9-10 1 Peter 2:9-10 (NIV) But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
- What kinds of life has God called us to live in the world around us? See also Phil 2:14-15 Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe
- How are we encouraged to live despite the self-gratifying trend around us? See also Eph 5:10-11 and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your purpose in life?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might continue as His priest?
Though those missionaries were in safety when they arrived in Athens after they fled for safety from Thessalonica, they got anxious about the condition of those young Christians. But they got encouraged through the report of Timothy about them. Read your journal over the week and see “What has the Lord spoken to you.” And “How you’ve responded to His voice” as well;
- What has the Lord spoken to you about your share of the trials and suffering?
- What has the Lord spoken to you about your role for the ministry of the gospel in your community?
- What has the Lord spoken to you about your prayer for the wellbeing of the young people around you?
- What has the Lord spoken to you about your caring for the young Christians God led into your path?
- What is an application you want to carry out in life from this week?
Paul prays that those spiritual children of them might grow blameless and holy in the presence of God at the coming of the Lord Jesus. That’s the defining moment of our sanctification, and when the reward for the saints would be clear;
- What could we observe the way the transformation starts with God in our life? See also Phil 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
- What could we observe the ultimate hope about His role in our sanctification? See also 1 Thess 5:23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- What could we observe our role in the process of our sanctification before the coming of the Lord? See also Lk 9:23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your walk with Him these days?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might appear blameless at His coming?
Though those new Christians in Thessalonica were doing well in the Lord, Paul is still seeing some serious needs for their walk in Christ. He prays night and day that they may see them again and supply what is lacking in their faith. Are we, after such caring for the young people around?
- What could we observe the hearts of those missionaries toward the need for younger Christians? See also Lam 2:18
- What is the Lord commanded those who love the Lord to apply their love for Him? See also Jn 21:15-17
- What must the Lord have done in your life that you might utilize your service for Him too? See also Mt 24:45-46
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your service for those households of Himself?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might enjoy His reward at His coming?
Paul is sharing the unspeakable joy they were experiencing at the news that those Thessalonians were standing firm and were thriving in the Lord. For they were a source of joy and confidence before the coming Lord;
- What could we observe the worth of the fruit in the Lord? See also Jn 15:8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
- What could we observe the reason for such joy in their heart by those thriving brothers? See also 1 Thess 2:19-20 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.
- What could we observe the way the prospect harvest motivated the Psalmist to suffer for the gospel? See also Ps 126:5-6 Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your share of sowing the seed for the kingdom?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might experience the joy of harvesting for the Lord?
Timothy, who went to Thessalonica on behalf of Paul’s team to see how they were doing in the Lord, even in the persecution. He brought good news about how those young Christians thrived in their faith. The information revived Paul and his companions;
- What could we observe the way God worked among those new believers going through persecution? See also Phil 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
- What could we observe the way God has preserved those young believers in such persecution? See also 1 Cor 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
- What does God promise us about the way He protects us in times of trouble? See also Heb 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about His role in your life?
- How do you want to respond to His voice, especially in times of your trouble?
I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless: read 1 Thess 3;
Paul was aware of the spiritual battle around young people in the Lord because of the tempter who is after them to disturb and destroy the work of the Lord that they worked to see built by tempting them. He was trying his best to guard and protect them;
- What could we observe the danger of spiritual battle due to the devil’s effort to disturb God’s people? See also 1 Pet 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
- What would help vulnerable people to assist each other in times of spiritual need and temptation? See also 2 Tim 2:22 Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
- What could we observe the benefit of godly companionship? See also Eccl 4:9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
- What if the Lord Jesus saying to you about the impact of your companionship on your life of faith?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might defend your faith?