HERO CENTRAL August 7-11 Vacation Bible School

September 14/1Thessalonians 1

Paul came to Thessalonica after he was miraculously released from prison in Philippi > Acts 16. He was in Thessalonica about three weeks where he started a church, appointed elders and helped the ministry get going. > see Acts 17. I guess he made pretty good use of his time. Never underestimate what the Holy Spirit can do through you. Now he is writing them to see how they are doing and to encourage them concerning the Lord’s coming back. The letter was written approximately 20 years after Jesus’ resurrection.

Verse 1 > May God’s grace and peace be with you. You really can’t have true peace until you realize that you are saved by God’s grace and not your works. Jesus did all the work for us. All we need to do is receive his salvation by faith. This brings great peace into our lives because we will never have to wonder if we did enough to earn God’s favor.

Verse 2 > Paul really loved the people that he led to the Lord. He was only with them for a few weeks and yet he was grateful for them and he regularly prayed for them. Do you have people that are grateful to the Lord for you? Do you have people that regularly pray for you?

Verse 3 > Wow in only about three weeks people were born again by the power of the Holy Spirit and then they left no doubt that they had been born again because their actions spoke louder than words. They worked faithfully in bringing other people to Jesus, they showed their love by what they did, and they now had hope for the future. Isn’t it great to be around people who are ‘born again’? Are you a joy to be around? Could someone tell that you have been born again? How does your hope for the future affect your attitude today?

Colossians 1:6 (NLT) — 6 This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.

Verse 4 > this is a good reminder for all of us. God loves us and he has chosen us not because of anything we did but just because he loves us! We can relax and live for him knowing our performance does not affect his love for us or our standing with Him!

Verse 5 > count on the Holy Spirit to show you the wonderful truths in the word of God as you read and listen to it. The word of God will begin to change you to be concerned about the welfare of other people.

Verse 6 > There was joy in knowing Jesus in spite of the suffering it brought them. I don’t know what their suffering was but somehow the joy of Jesus was able to rise to the surface so that others could see it. I guess the joy of the Lord was their strength > see Nehemiah 8:10. They knew that no matter what this life offered they were heading for heaven. Would you say that the joy of the Lord was the strength that gets you through a day of suffering? Fill us Holy Spirit with the joy of knowing Jesus and remind us that we are heading for heaven!

Verse 7 > Wow these people who only had been taught by Paul for about three weeks were being examples of what it means to have faith in Jesus. They truly were born again! I hope that I am a good example to people of what it looks like to be a follower of Jesus.

Verses 8-9 > these people had the testimony that they had turned from idols to serve the true and living God. They now had a mission. What is an idol? I would say an idol is anything that keeps God from having first place in your life. Does God have first place when it comes to your time, money and things? These Thessalonians turned away from these things. I want to have that same testimony. I want to be on a mission to put God first and live righteously. I want to be satisfied with my needs being met. Heavenly Father help me to discern the difference between a need and a want.

Matthew 6:33 (NLT) — 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Verse 10 > I want to meet Jesus my rescuer! I believe that looking forward each day to meeting Jesus would work wonders in our behavior and our outlook on life. It sure did for the Thessalonians!

1 John 3:2–3 (NLT) — 2 Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. 3 And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.

Be Inspired Hilltop!

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    The trouble mentioned was that some of the be livers were put on trial for their faith when Paul and Silas were not there to be tried. The church came through that trial and then became known for their belief.

  2. Mary Anne Frank says:

    No cell phones, no Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram, no tv, no radio….and yet the “word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere , even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God.” Vs 8…..wow….do people know about Hilltop? Just a thought…..