We continued with the second week in “A Faith That Endures: Lessons from the Thessalonian Epistles”. The question we explored was: How are we to care for ourselves so that we are better able to care for others?
In 1 Thessalonians 2:5-8, Paul explains the way in which he interacted with the people. “Flattery” was the word which caught my attention (in verse 5). Some people try to win friends or gain influence by the use of flattery.
The dictionary defines flattery as “insincere praise”. Flattery is dishonest praise meant to boost an ego.
Paul reminds us God wants our motives be pure before both Him and people.
Paul uses a nursing mother as an analogy for how we deal with others and share the gospel. We are to be gentle, loving, and nurturing of them. A nursing mother is careful with what she eats as she knows she will be imparting nutrition to her baby.
May we as well, be careful with what we take in so that in sharing with others, we are passing along the Word, rightly divided.
The Thessalonians were an eager group of believers. In 1 Thessalonians 2:13-16, we find they:
- received the word of God
- they accepted their words as the word of God
- they suffered persecution from their countrymen
- they imitated the believers
There was much activity in their lives which led to their growth in God. My Bible commentary adds this:
“If we appreciate the Word (the heart), appropriate the Word (the mind), and apply the Word (the will), then as a whole person we will be controlled by God’s Word and He will give us the victory.” (Wiersbe Study Bible)
God’s Word needs to be at the center of our lives for growth and fruit to occur … “And this word continues to work in you who believe” (verse 13b, NLT).
What activity do you see in your life that is deepening your relationship with God?
We’re reading 1 Thessalonians 3:1-5. Here we find Paul sending Timothy to visit the Thessalonians. Why?
– to strengthen them
– to encourage them in their faith
– to keep them from being shaken by the troubles they were going through
We are surely going to have troubles in this world. No news there.
We need others to come alongside us to keep us steady in our walk. Other days, we need to be that one for someone else. This is the beautiful thing about community – we go the ups and downs with one another.
This is the way for us all to experience victory in our lives, assuring that the enemy does not dissuade any of us from this walk of faith.
As our lives are controlled by God’s Word,
we are able to care for others and live in community.