Stand Firm In Hard Times – 2 Thessalonians 3

From my reading in 2 Thessalonians 3 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Struggles happen.

Following Jesus is hard. It is a struggle to do what God has called us to do. Paul was concerned for the Thessalonians that they would stay strong in the middle of struggles. He sent Timothy to strengthen and encourage them…

“and to keep you from being shaken by the troubles you were going through. But you know that we are destined for such troubles.” 1 Thessalonians 3:3

Troubles are a part of the believers lot in life. We need encouragement in order to not be shaken.  Knowing that hard times are a part of our calling can help us not wonder where God is in those moments. Paul continued.

“Even while we were with you, we warned you that troubles would soon come—and they did, as you well know.” 1 Thessalonians 3:4

It is helpful to be warned about hard times in advance so that you can be ready.

A hurricane warning is very helpful, because it gives people time to brace for the storm. As Christians we should brace for the storms of life realizing that even though hard times come in this life we can look forward to the Heaven where there will be no more crying or pain!

Paul was concerned that the devil would not get the best of them in the hard times. His life was connected to how well the Thessalonians were doing.

“It gives us new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 3:8

Are you standing firm in hard times?

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Passion For People Is The Heart Of Ministry – 1 Thessalonians 3

From my reading in 1 Thessalonians 3 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

In this chapter you can see Paul’s heart for the Thessalonians. Here are some examples of the things that show his love.

  • He sent Timothy to strengthen and encourage them. 1-5
  • He encourages them for staying strong. 7
  • He share how he get’s new life because they are standing firm. 8
  • He thanks God for them. 9
  • He prays earnestly for their growth. 10
  • He prays that they would be united soon. 11
  • He prays that God would make their love overflow as his love overflows toward them. 12
  • He prays that their hearts would be strong, blameless, and holy. 13

Paul’s life was connected to these people.

“For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 3:8

He was passionate about their growth and longed for them to stay strong in their faith. If you are ministering to people it is okay to give them your heart. Paul did. Jesus did.

Are you deeply connected to the people that you are ministering to? 

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Minister Like Paul… Share The Gospel And Your Life! – 1 Thessalonians 2

From my reading in 1 Thessalonians 2 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

The love Paul had for the Thessalonians oozes off the pages of this chapter. One verse in particular gives us a great model for how we are to do ministry.

“We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8

We to share the gospel AND we are to share our lives.

 If you really love the people you are ministering to then it will be a joy to spend your life with them. As you share your life people will “catch the disease” of loving God and others. It has been said…

“You can impress people from a distance, but you can only impact people from up close.”

When we share our lives we can set an example for people. People learn best from models. Paul was able to explain the good news and show them how it is to be lived out in daily life.

Are you really sharing your life with those you are ministering to?

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4 Ministry Principles Of Paul – 1 Thessalonians 1

From my reading in 1 Thessalonians 1 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Paul sets a great example of four practices for those of us in ministry.

1. Pray constantly for those you serve.

“We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly.” 1 Thessalonians 1:2

Paul was constantly praying for the people he had ministered to. Most of us don’t pray for our people enough. Often we are too busy doing public ministry that we fail to fulfill the private ministry of prayer. I am challenged to pray more intentionally for those in my flock.

2. Preach with the power of the Holy Spirit.

“For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true.” 1 Thessalonians 1:5a

The Holy Spirit is the one who empowers the preacher. Preaching should be done in reliance on the Holy Spirit. He is the one who will speak to people through you and will facilitate change in people’s lives.

As preachers, it is important for us to stay in step with the Spirit so that we can speak his words instead of relying on our own intellect and human wisdom.

3. Show your love through your life.

“And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you.” 1 Thessalonians 1:5b

It has been said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Leaders should make it obvious to those they are leading that they genuinely love them. If you are using your followers then people will see through that. If you sincerely love them then people will follow you with joy.

4. Set an example by suffering well.

“So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6

Suffering with joy sets a powerful example for your flock. Paul set an example for them in how to deal with hard times. He endured. He never gave up. Paul imitated Jesus as well. Jesus suffered the ultimate price for the sake of the gospel and did it with joy looking forward to his reward.

It has been said, “people would rather see a sermon that hear one any day.” I pray that I can be a good example to my people especially in times of suffering.

Which of these ministry principles is relevant to your life right now?

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