Posts Tagged '1 Thessalonians'

Theory of Thanatos in Thessalonica

Theory of Thanatos in Thessalonica Sermon Audio Here

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

It seems that every time we watch the news or read the paper, we learn about some new tragedy. Death occurs with astonishing regularity, even if the circumstances surrounding it become more and more bizarre.

How Can We Respond When Faced With Death?

We Can Have Knowledge AND Hope ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

  • 13 WE GRIEVE DIFFERENTLY
  • 16 NO SECRET~ ALL WILL KNOW GOD IS AT WORK:
  • 17 WE JOIN JESUS AFTER HIS RETURN:
    • Day of the Lord order: Return of Jesus FOLLOWED by resurrection of dead in Christ FOLLOWED by our joining Christ in the clouds
  • 18 This is GOOD NEWS: we haven’t missed it!

The Thessalonians were concerned because they’d received differing accounts of Jesus’ return. Paul writes to them to set them straight… and we can be reassured as well: Jesus WILL return, and He WILL take us home: that’s all we need to know, and that’s what gives us hope!

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Thriving In Thessalonica

Thriving In Thessalonica Sermon Audio Here

1 Thessalonians 2:9-13

In our first week looking at First Thessalonians, we tested thankfulness. Our second week, we measured motive. Today, we talk about flourishing faith:

Faith That Thrives Or Is Merely Alive: What’s The Difference?

Living Faith Is FUSED With Life ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:9-11

  • 9 preached=heralded; called out the truth; while working among them, the gospel was talked about (less pulpit, more participation)
  • 10 among you: Paul & team immersed themselves in the lives of others
  • 11 like a good father does

Thriving Faith is USED Throughout Life ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:12-13

  • 12 encouraging, comforting, urging: father/pastor/coach => movement towards worth/value
  • 13 the Word “which is at work”; we’re not intended to just sit

How do we know that God has ACTUALLY called us? How do we know that our FAITH is real (and we’re not just fooling ourselves)? Because we CHANGE. We’re DIFFERENT. The presence of God’s Grace does something in us, and we walk with God into His Kingdom.

Thinking About Thessalonica

Thinking About Thessalonica Sermon Audio Here

1 Th. 2:1-8

Consider all of the tests available today: Meyers/Briggs Personality tests; MENSA intelligence tests, SAT/PSAT-NMSQT academic tests… what about motives? Last week, we looked for genuineness (testing thankfulness); this week, we’re measuring motive…

How Do We Test For Intent?

Watch What Is Dared ~ 1 Th. 2:1-4

  • 1/2 willing to risk sharing
  • 3/4 why willing? Because they know they’re called/entrusted

Check Why It’s Shared ~ 1 Th. 2:5-7

  • 5 flattery= like a politician who says whatever needs to be said to gain a vote
  • 6 apostles are enabled with authority, but don’t use it to gain glory (opposite of politician)
  • 7 nurture, not neediness

1 Th. 2:8 because we love, we want to give more than the gospel, but our selves. Give your SELF away!

Thankfulness For Thessalonica

Thankfulness For Thessalonica Sermon Audio Here

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

eBay has a new verification service to prevent fraudulent goods being sold: they’re shipped to experts who verify authenticity before the buyer gets them.

How Can We Tell If Thankfulness Is Genuine?

Thankfulness is Seen ~ 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5

  • 1/3 WHAT we do, WHY we do it, and HOW we do it can inspire thankfulness; this means that we’re being WATCHED by others
  • 4/5 Elements of God’s choice: the Word; power; Holy Spirit; conviction. We’re WATCHED by GOD

=> Don’t let the fact that you’re being watched cause you to be self-conscious. Rather, recognize that God’s work in you is WORTH WATCHING.

Thankfulness is Heard ~ 1 Thessalonians 1:6-10

  • 6 Welcome the Word (even though life can be hard, we can still receive God’s good news in bad times)
  • 7 Reveal Your Reception (don’t be scared to show what God is doing in you; people are probably noticing anyway)
  • 8/10 Sound Your Salvation (rang out=only here in NT, sounded like an echo; share what God is doing in your life)

The Thessalonians were faithful, but not too mature in their faith. Paul shares this encouraging thought with them to remind them that God IS among them, doing His work. Our takeaway: we don’t NEED to have Master’s degrees to be used by the Master!

Devotionals Online: 06

The Day of the Lord
Verses to Read: 1 Thes. 5:1-11
There’s a wonderful song that’s a favorite of mine: People Get Ready by Margaret Becker. The concept in the song is that Christ could be coming back at any time, and we’ve got to be ready to go. What do you need to do to get ready to leave on vacation? Now how would that be different if you knew you were going to be leaving for good?
The Thessalonians were getting some pretty mixed up advice about how to prepare for the coming of the Lord. Paul sets them straight, and encourages them to be sober minded as they think about what they need to be doing in their lives.

This is great advice for me as well – to be sober minded as I think about what I need to get done. I have no idea how long I’ll be on the planet – so while I’m here, I want to be like Jesus, and be about “my Father’s business”.

Lord, make me aware of not only what I need to do, but who I’ll be working with, and for WHOM I am working (I’m serving You, not just the ideals that You laid out). Amen.

People, get ready… there’s a train a’comin…

Title of the Devotion:
Verses to Read:
Opening Thought / Illustrative Story – 1 paragraph:
What is the bible author saying to you in this verse? – 1 paragraph:

How can I apply this to my life? – 1 paragraph:

Closing Prayer:

Ending Thought – a short, one line thought to end the Devotional

Online Devotionals: 05

People Get Ready
Verses to Read: 1 Thes. 4:13-28
When I became a follower of Jesus, I was taught that God was going to “vanish” all of the people of God at any given moment… and that if you weren’t ready to go, you’d be left behind. This was a teaching that was originally designed to give hope, but because it was based in fear, it ended up causing more anxiety than hope.
Paul was dealing with people who were being told wrong things about the final Ressurection in Thessolonika as well. To give them hope, he spelled out the “final countdown” of how God would rescue all of the people of the Kingdom. It’s very simple, and doesn’t have a lot of date-specific details. MUCH more hopeful.

I need to remember that God WILL rescue all of us who are part of the Kingdom – and to do whatever I can to encourage as many as possible to be a part of that Kingdom as well. But GOD is the one who does the rescue; I’m just doing my small part, and staying hopeful.

Closing Prayer: Lord God, come quickly. But if you choose to wait, please use me to expand your Kingdom while I’m waiting for You. Amen.

Showing my age: “It’s the Final Countdown!” (from the band Europe)

Devotionals Online: 04

Control Yourself
Verses to Read: 1 Thes. 4:1-8

1 Finally, brothers and sisters, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus that, as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God (as, in fact, you are doing), you should do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from fornication; 4 that each one of you know how to control your own body in holiness and honor, 5 not with lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one wrong or exploit a brother or sister in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, just as we have already told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever rejects this rejects not human authority but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Have you ever been so anxious to be involved in something you just can’t wait? As a child, I used to love going swimming at American Lake… I just couldn’t wait to get into that cool water, and I’d just jump in at the first opportunity.
What is the bible author saying to you in this verse? – 1 paragraph: I’m drawn to the word “abstain” in verse 3. Paul is telling the Thessalonians that they are to abstain from intimacy outside of marriage. I looked the word up, and the word can be translated “hold back”. The idea is that while the draw – the lure – of extramarital closeness is understandable, we need to hold back.

There are lots of things in my life that function as lures to me; things that do their best to draw my attention away from Christ, away from my relationships with my family. I’ve found a great freedom in recognizing those lures (“oh, yeah, I sense that temptation”) but then reminding myself that I’m dead to that draw.

Lord, help me to “abstain”, to back away from those things which do their best to draw me in to places or situations that I shouldn’t be in.

Be a zombie – the living dead!


Pastor Ed Backell

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