Editor’s note: Grab your Bible and a cup of coffee and set aside devotional time for a appear into Thessalonians with Pastor Max Lucado! Life Lessons is a series of research on the books of the Bible that consists of Bible reading, reflection, spaces to answer inquiries, and fascinating stories to assistance us comprehend what God intends for us to understand from His Word. Take pleasure in this choice from Life Lessons: Thessalonians!
Thessalonians: When Hell Breaks Loose
For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the identical factors from your personal countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, who killed each the Lord Jesus and their personal prophets, and have persecuted us. — 1 Thessalonians two:14-15 NKJV
In his classic book The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis warned of two doable errors in considering about demons. On 1 intense is the refusal to think in their existence. On the other intense is the equally harmful error to “feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.” Which of these tendencies do you most see in your personal life? Clarify.
Paul continues to defend his ministry by reminding the Thessalonians of the message he preached when he was with them — which they accepted as the word of God — and the strong impact it had created on them. This is a message their enemy, “the god of this age” (two Corinthians four:four), did not want them to hear, and he was now carrying out all he could to trigger them to abandon their faith. Paul acknowledges the believers have endured excellent persecution at the hands of other individuals, but he compels them to continue on for Christ — for the day is coming when the wrath of God will come upon these who select to reject the message of the gospel.
Study 1 Thessalonians two:13-20 from the New International Version or the New King James Version.
New International Version
13 And we also thank God continually mainly because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it truly is, the word of God, which is certainly at function in you who think. 14 For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your personal persons the identical factors these churches suffered from the Jews 15 who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to every person 16 in their work to hold us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they might be saved. In this way they constantly heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at final.
17 But, brothers and sisters, when we have been orphaned by getting separated from you for a brief time (in particular person, not in believed), out of our intense longing we created just about every work to see you. 18 For we wanted to come to you — undoubtedly I, Paul, did, once again and once again — but Satan blocked our way. 19 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? 20 Certainly, you are our glory and joy.
New King James Version
13 For this cause we also thank God with out ceasing, mainly because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of males, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also successfully functions in you who think. 14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the identical factors from your personal countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, 15 who killed each the Lord Jesus and their personal prophets, and have persecuted us and they do not please God and are contrary to all males, 16 forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, so as constantly to fill up the measure of their sins but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.
17 But we, brethren, obtaining been taken away from you for a brief time in presence, not in heart, endeavored far more eagerly to see your face with excellent want. 18 Consequently we wanted to come to you — even I, Paul, time and once again — but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? 20 For you are our glory and joy.
- How does Paul describe the way in which the believers in Thessalonica received the message of the gospel? What does it imply when he says that message is “at work” in them (verse 13)?
- Primarily based on this passage, what sort of opposition have been the believers facing?
- What hope did Paul offer you to the believers to encourage them to persevere in their faith?
- In your life as a believer, when have you encountered the most opposition? What was the scenario? How did you respond to that time of adversity?
- Paul had evidently been accused of not caring for the Thessalonian believers or wanting to see them once again. What does he reveal about the correct motives for why he has not returned?
- When are some instances in your life that you have felt blocked from carrying out some thing God referred to as you to do? How did you persevere via these hard circumstances?
If God is for us, who can be against us? — Romans eight:31
The query is not just, “Who can be against us?” You could answer that 1. Who is against you? Illness, inflation, corruption, exhaustion. Calamities confront, and fears imprison. Have been Paul’s query, “Who can be against us?” we could list our foes a lot simpler than we could fight them. But that is not the query. The query is, If GOD is for us, who can be against us?
Indulge me for a moment. 4 words in this verse deserve your interest. Study gradually the phrase, “God is for us.” Please pause for a minute prior to you continue. Study it once again, aloud. (My apologies to the particular person subsequent to you.) God is for us. Repeat the phrase 4 instances, this time emphasizing every single word. (Come on, you are not in that large of a hurry.)
God is for us.
God is for us.
God is for us.
God is for us.
God is for you. Your parents might have forgotten you, your teachers might have neglected you, your siblings might be ashamed of you, but inside attain of your prayers is the Maker of the oceans. God!
God is for you. Not “may be,” not “has been,” not “was,” not “would be,” but “God is!” He is for you. These days. At this hour. At this minute. As you study this sentence. No have to have to wait in line or come back tomorrow. He is with you. He could not be closer than He is at this second. His loyalty will not raise if you are improved nor lessen if you are worse. He is for you.
God is for you. Turn to the sidelines that is God cheering your run. Appear previous the finish line that is God applauding your methods. Listen for Him in the bleachers, shouting your name. Also tired to continue? He’ll carry you. Also discouraged to fight? He’s choosing you up. God is for you.
God is for you. Had he a calendar, your birthday would be circled. If he drove a automobile, your name would be on his bumper. If there’s a tree in heaven, he’s carved your name in the bark. We know He has a tattoo, and we know what it says.
‘I have engraved you on the palms of my hands,” He declares. — Isaiah 49:16
God is with you. Recognizing that, who is against you? Can death harm you now? Can illness rob your life? Can your goal be taken or your worth diminished? No. Although hell itself might set itself against you, no 1 can defeat you. You are protected. God is with you.
(From In the Grip of Grace by Max Lucado.)
- Reflect on these 4 words from Paul: “God is for us” (Romans eight:31). When is it the hardest for you to think that God is for you? Why?
- What are some techniques you can see God is for you even in the midst of your existing struggles?
- What are some of the far more productive tools you have noticed the enemy use to hold the gospel from spreading, the church from prospering, and Christians from expanding?
- Primarily based on this passage, how ought to you respond when you sense your plans are getting hindered by the enemy? How is Paul’s point of view on troubles useful to you?
- Paul expresses his deep want to go to and comfort the beleaguered Thessalonian believers. Who in your life is embroiled in a excellent spiritual struggle? How can you assistance that particular person?
- How would you finish this sentence: “My hope, joy, and the crown I will take pride in when Jesus comes is…”?
What occurs when we get credible proof of an impending terrorist attack? Absolutely everyone goes on higher alert. In just about every doable way, we ratchet up the level of safety. We turn out to be wary and vigilant. We take unique precautions. We do all these factors and far more, mainly because the failure to do them could (and probably would) be catastrophic. The identical is correct in the spiritual realm.
We have a despicable, sworn enemy. Satan has declared all-out war on Christ and His church.
Although the outcome of this cosmic conflict is not in doubt, careless believers can nevertheless turn out to be casualties of the evil 1. Our only hope? To hide ourselves in the God who loves us.
Lord, make us vigilant now. Remind us that life is war, that we are in the midst of a excellent cosmic struggle, and that we have an enemy who desires to destroy us. Safeguard us with Your armor and comfort us in our struggles. Arm us now with Your wisdom and strength.
What are some techniques to know no matter if the trials you are facing are coming as a outcome of Satan’s efforts to hinder you to adhere to God’s calling or are just a outcome of living in a fallen globe?
FOR Additional READING
To comprehensive the books of 1 and two Thessalonians for the duration of this twelve-element study, study 1 Thessalonians two:13-20. For far more Bible passages on spiritual warfare, study two Corinthians 10:three-five Ephesians six:10-19 1 Timothy 1:18 six:12 two Timothy two:four Hebrews four:12 and 1 Peter five:eight.
Excerpted with permission from Life Lessons: 1 & two Thessalonians by Max Lucado, copyright Max Lucado.
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God is for you! It is a truth. Even when factors are difficult. Even via trials. Even when life gets upended and you have lost your bearings. God is for you. Do you think it? Come share your thoughts with us on our weblog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Day-to-day