I Thessalonians 1:1-5
What does God look at when he looks at a church? Paul praises the Thessalonian Church for their faith, hope, and love. We begin a series from 1 Thessalonians as an opportunity for the Lord to evaluate our church and our role in His Church. We may find that we have some things in common with the Thessalonian Church as it faces hardship, persecution, and even sexual promiscuity.
1 Thessalonians 1:6-10
Charles Barkley was wrong. He was a role model. He may have been a poor one, but he was a role model. Every mother is a role model. In fact, we are all role models for people around us both young and old. What are people saying about you? What do people in other places say about our church? We are imitators of Jesus and models for other believers. Are we living as examples that others should follow? Are we following the example of Jesus Christ? Would you invite someone to follow your example as a follower of Jesus Christ?
1 Thessalonians 2:1-6
The apostles told people about Christ even though they had experienced severe rejection and beating in Philippi. Paul says that God tests our heart and that should concern us more than what people think of us. What will God find if he puts us on his treadmill?
1 Thessalonians 2:7-12
Paul was motivated to tell people about Jesus because of his love for them. That love affected the way he shared the good news about Jesus. He did everything he could to avoid anything that would make it hard for people to accept the love of Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 2:13-16
The Thessalonians came to know Christ in a very short time and yet the word of God had a dramatic effect on their lives. They faced severe persecution as very young believers and did not give in. This is contrasted with those were hostile to God and killed Jesus as well as opposed the message of the Gospel.
1 Thessalonians 2:17-20
When you get to Heaven, what will you take with you? What will you celebrate about your life? What will matter most to you in Heaven? Paul says that his crown will be the people who have come to know Christ through his ministry. Will jewels in your crown really matter in heaven or will you be most excited about the people who will be there because of your ministry?