The gospel penetrated in Thessalonica got ignited as the new pattern of life, not as a theory. Paul lived among them as a model of godly/Christ-like character, but also a responsible man. Read your journal over the week or 2 Thess 3. What has the Lord spoken to you? How have you responded to His voice?
- What has the Lord spoken to you about His faithful protection of you from the evil one?
- What has the Lord spoken to you about your life among your neighbors as a responsible person?
- What has the Lord spoken to you about your modeling for the people around?
- What is your life’s area the Lord Jesus is pointing out that you need to be a model?
- How do you want to respond to His voice?
We are God’s workmanship created in Christ to do good works in the process of passing on the gospel in the life of people. But, it is easy for one to grow tired in the process of doing good. What would help us to stay passionate about doing good for the sake of the kingdom?
- What could we observe the way God’s purpose in creating us as His workmanship? See also Eph 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
- What could we observe about good work? See also Gal 6:9-10 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
- What could we observe the apostle Paul’s secret of persevering in doing good works? See also Col 1:29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your good work these days?
- What do you want to do in response to His voice?
But to make ourselves a model for you to follow: read 2 Thess 3;
Though Paul’s team had the right to get support, they worked day and night as they preach the gospel. They did not want to be a burden on anyone. Instead, they tried to make themselves a model for the local believers to follow;
- What could we observe from the pattern of Paul’s life regarding the financial way of living? See also 1 Cor 9:14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.
- What could we observe the way Paul set himself as a model for them to follow? See also 2 Cor 12:15 So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less?
- What is the Lord saying to those who are in position of influence? See also 1 Tim 4:12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your example among believers around?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might be an example to the believers around?
The Lord Jesus has commanded people not only to believe in Him but also to follow His example. And apostle Paul is even asking the people around to follow his example. Are we continuing with exemplary life that would make us affordable to say ‘follow my example’?
- What could we observe the way the Lord Jesus taught about the new life with Him? See also Jn 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
- What could we observe the cause of such an impact of apostle Paul’s life among the people in so many areas? See also Phil 3:17 Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you.
- What could we observe the way movement of powerful impact continued in the early church? See also 1 Thess 1:5-8 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.
6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.
8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia–your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it,
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your life as a messenger of the gospel?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might also ask people to follow your example?
There must be people among so-called brothers in the Lord not live according to the sound teaching. Their influence has been harmful, and Paul is urging his followers to keep themselves away from those people. We also need to be practitioners of discipleship, not talkers of discipleship;
- What could we observe the way the Lord Jesus commended discipleship? 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 is Apostle Paul’s warning as something/somebody harmful to the ministry of the gospel? See also 2 Tim 3:5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
- What could we observe the way Paul emphasized as a tradition of the movement of the gospel? 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 is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your holistic practice of the gospel?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might live according to the sound teaching?
The ministry among and for the young Christians was work in partnership with the Lord, who is gracious and faithful. He has spent a lot of time praying for them and trusting God that He would strengthen and protect them from the evil one. That’s how I also will work in this era of uncertainty;
- What was Paul so confident about his young and vulnerable friends even he could not stay with them long? 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 about Paul’s attitude about their prospect even he was cut away from them? See also 1 Thess 1:2-3 We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
- What could we observe about Paul’s confidence in the way God would continue to work in them? See also Phil 2:13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your confidence in the Lord for the people you are working with?
- How do you want to respond to His voice?
Though the apostles could stay in Thessalonica to work among them for only a short time, their message spread rapidly. The message of the gospel was not penetrating the city of Thessalonica. It also spread to the surrounding Macedonian region like a wildfire;
- What could we observe the way those apostles work among Thessalonians? See also 1 Thess 2:6-8 6 We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you,
7 but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.
8 We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.
- What could we observe the way those Thessalonians responded to the message they received from those messengers? See also 1 Thess 2:13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.
- What must have caused such an impact they made among them? See also 1 Thess 1:5-6 because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your impact in your neighborhood?
- How would you like to respond to His word that you might enjoy such an impact on the people God place on your path?
Apostle, Paul, noticed that some people thought that the day of the Lord has already come. He is confirming that the Man of Lawlessness would reveal first. We live in days that the people don’t care about His second coming at all. Read your journal over the week, and see ”What the
- What has the Lord spoken to you about your attitude about the Lord Jesus’ coming?
- What has the Lord spoken to you about your response to People’s rebellion against God these days?
- What has the Lord spoken to you about people’s trend to exalt themselves over God?
- What has the Lord spoken to you about your stand against the ungodly trend around you?
- What do you want to do to stand firm regardless of such hostility against the truth/God?
God called us through the gospel that we might share in the glory of the Lord Jesus. He called us into His glory though we could never deserve it on our own or through our work. What a grace we could never deserve;
- What could we observe the call of God through the gospel extended to us? See also 2 Cor 5:19-20 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
- What could we observe the heavenly call for us through the Lord Jesus as His heir? See also 1 Pet 2:9-10 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.
- How have we been encouraged to carry out this call in life? See also 1 Pet 2:11-12 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your attitude as His ambassador these days?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might continue to share such glory in life?
God saw that those people don’t think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God; he gave them over to a depraved mind and allowed them to reap what they sow. They live in a delusion that they believe lie passed unto them by the devil;
- What could we observe the way those people have chosen to turn away from honoring God? See also Rom 1:20-21 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkness.
- What could we observe the way they are reaping the destruction rather than life? See also Gal 6:7-8 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
- What is God warning us against the ungodly trend of our culture? See also Pr 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your own devotion to the truth as well as living it out in life?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might harvest eternal life?