For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain. But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you.
1 Thessalonians 3:5-6//
Sometimes, I worry that my ministry is in vain. But, I should be encouraged by those that God has granted to be touched by Him through my life.
We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition.
1 Thessalonians 2:2//
Paul and those who preached with him literally experienced physical suffering. Yet, they preached the Gospel. May I do the same in the face of adversity.
You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 1:6//
Suffering prepares us for God’s joy.
You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest.//
I need to have a relentless, untiring commitment to persevere in prayer.
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.
Lord, grant me wisdom and grace when dealing with non-believers.
Psalm 4:8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.//
It is the Lord Who brings us peace so we can fall asleep with confidence.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.//
We are specifically told twice to set our hearts and minds on things above. Lord, help me to remember my identity is not in my job nor earthly wealth; it is in You. Help me to focus on building Your kingdom, not mine.
Isaiah 1:2 Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth! For the Lord has spoken.//
God has spoken; our responsibility is to listen to His Words.
He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
One of my goals should be to be a mature Christian and to help other believers become mature in their faith as well. Only Christ can give me the wisdom, power, strength, and energy to do this work.
Malachi 4:6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents.//
This is the last verse of the Oold Testament. Shows God’s concern for family relationships.