Encouraging Those Around You

Brian Clark

Encouraging Those Around You

As we have already learned, Paul was only in Thessalonica for 2-3 weeks (Acts 17) during which time the church in that city was begun. As we have also learned, Paul and his entourage had to leave town quickly because of the riot they started when they preached Jesus as Lord. The situation was bad enough that Jason, a Christian who welcomed the missionaries into his home, was arrested, posted bond and got the attention of the wrong kind of authority.

Monday…Read I Thessalonians 3 and keep this in mind: Paul had sent Timothy back to Thessalonica after he was forced out of the city. He likely expected bad news from Timothy since the church was brand new and already under persecution. Imagine how happy he was to find out that the church was thriving! Remember: this church is the very best example of what a New Testament church is to be. I Thessalonians, among other teaching, is a commendation of this church.

Tuesday…We are looking at seven words that begin the letter “s” to find out    specifically why this church is singled out as a great church. We have seen five of those words during the last couple of weeks. Our word for chapter three is, “standing fast” (I know, I know two words: alliteration sometimes isn’t precise!).   This church was standing firm/fast on the Gospel! Do you know people who have drifted away? I do. Do you know whole churches and sometimes whole denominations which have drifted from the truth? I do. This church is commended for standing on the Word!

Wednesday…Please do yourself a favor and read I Thessalonians 4 and 5. As you do, notice the emphasis on the coming of Christ. That we have already covered. Now notice this: This church is a surrendered/submissive church. Here is how we know this: when we read other epistles, especially Galatians and the Corinthian correspondence, we note how the Apostle has to repeat himself and explain himself. Here, though, with this church Paul simply has to lay down some basic rules and then move on. Because this church is submissive/surrendered (our last “s” word, he does not have to belabor any of his points.

Thursday…As you read, note the following: Paul can simply say, “behave yourself sexually” and he fully expects them to do just that. Remarkable! Note also how Paul has only to say that they need to treat each other with respect, kindness and dignity…and then he move son to the next subject. No detailed explanation is necessary. Paul knows that this church respects him and the teaching he has received from the Lord.

 Friday…Read carefully chapter 5 beginning with verse 14 and notice how many rules Paul lays down. Some Bible commentators note that there are thirteen different commands/rules laid down from verse 14-22! This is incredible…the fact that Paul  can just say these things with no comment, threats or explanation needed. Here is the take away for me and for you: the Word is not to be questioned. May we all be submissive and surrendered to the Lord and His teaching!

By Dale Holzbauer