1 Thessalonians 2
If you’ve not read Marcia’s devotion for yesterday, it would be good to give it a quick scan now. She sets us up well for I & II Thessalonians. By the way, thank you Marcia, for all the work you do with SeekGrowLove! These readings and devotions are a great ministry! It is amazing how often the Old and New Testament readings complement each other. Isaiah did speak a great deal of judgment, but as always, God never wasted an opportunity to lay out hope for his people. Isaiah also had much to say about the coming Messiah. I appreciated Marcia’s suggestion that we note what Paul alludes to at the end of every chapter in I Thessalonians. If I had known that before, I had forgotten.
At any rate, let me note just a few highlights in I Thessalonians 2 . . .
Paul was literally driven to preach the gospel, the good news of the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus the Christ. Neither opposition, nor disagreement, nor persecution could dissuade him. He was a straight shooter, told it like it was. He would have nothing to do with masking, hiding anything, or any impure motives (See V. 5). He provided for his own needs, toiling at his own profession, rather than to be a burden in any way upon the church. Actually, on another occasion he apologized for that very practice, realizing the church needed to understand and meet their responsibility to care for those who provided for their spiritual needs. The context of the situation would evidently dictate what is right.
Notice the tenderness of Paul’s love and concern for the brethren. He was gentle with them, like a mother caring for her little children (V. 7). Then in Vs. 11,12, he dealt with them as a father deals with his own children – encouraging, comforting, and urging them to live lives worthy of God who calls us into his kingdom and glory. He was thankful for them, and proud of them as they served and obeyed. Who are your spiritual mentors, men and women who have taught you, encouraged you, comforted you, and challenged you spiritually? May we make them proud. May we walk in their footsteps. May we build on the foundation others have laid before us! May we minister to others! May we be true as we wait and watch for the coming of Jesus!