Over the last few days I have been reading 1 Thessalonians and have been amazed by the teaching and Love of Paul to the Church in Thessalonica.
Let me paint the picture a little. Paul was probably writing from Corinth, which is in Greece. This was not his native or home turf but it was where God had called him to. Praise God he was obedient to his call to preach the gospel to the Gentiles.
He was writing to the Church in Thessalonica, which is some 360 Miles Aw
ay from him at the time. Can you imagine walking this by foot… http://bit.ly/LvtzAG
It was one of the first Letters written to the Church around 50 or 51 AD. So it was a young church only really 20 years after Jesus departed to heaven.
Paul was under persecution and threat from all sorts of people. He was being thrown into prison and treated in such an awful way Read Acts 16 & 17. Yet he did not give up.
37 But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.”
Paul caused such uproar wherever he went so much so that people rioted. It is amazing how much preaching the Gospel will shake things up. I think it is important to realise this.
5 But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city
So there you have it a brief picture painted of what life was like for Paul at the time of writing to the Church in Thessalonica.
I want to take a look at how much love Paul had for these people. Even though he was going through such hell and persecution he still had the love and desire for the people who he once ministered to. He had one goal and that was for people to have a Hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. Right at the beginning in Chapter 1 he says something profound.
4 For we know, brothers and sisters[b] loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.
The spoken message and gospel of Christ carries such power through the Holy Spirit. Words are not enough it has to be anointed by his spirit. I believe if we simply proclaim the Gospel the Holy Spirit will work and convict peoples souls.
In Chapter 2 I was really touched by Paul’s love for the people he preached to. It says he felt “torn” away from them in person but NOT in spirit. He had and “intense longing” to see them. I get the impression that Paul could not stop thinking of them. Are we thinking of people in our Lives and longing to see them know Christ more?
10 Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.
Are we praying for people and friends around us to grow deeper in the knowledge of Christ? It is so important we pray for our dear friends and family and people who we interact with. I challenge you to pray day and night for someone or a group of people.. pray that God would supply what is lacking in their faith.
12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.
I pray that we would learn how to love people and others in such a way that it goes beyond our own selfish inward looking nature. I pray that our love for Christ and each other would overflow in our communities and friends. Lord would only you make this happen and help us be even bolder than the great examples we read of in the Bible such as Paul.
Please let me know your thoughts?
How can we be more passionate for people to know Christ through Love?
Does anyone have any stories of testimonies of people who have changed their lives just simply though loving them unconditionally?
What is stopping us proclaim the Gospel of Christ fearlessly as Paul did?
Does any one have any stories of how the people are fearless proclaiming the Gospel both big and small?
I will write a post about Gods Call to purity next as this is on my heart and comes up in 1 Thessalonians 4.
Blessings in the Name of Jesus.