Friday, August 12, 2011

Bible Study: Encouragement For The Persecuted - 1 Thessalonians - Chapter 3


Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. At the time of its writing, early 2009, things are looking pretty bleak with the economy and unemployment among other things. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. Stay strong. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming…

Stacey


Take a few minutes to pray and savor 1 Thessalonians Chapter 3. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…



3:1 – Paul, Silas and Timothy couldn’t stand that they had been torn away from the Thessalonians. What do you miss when you’re prevented from ministering?

3:2-4 – Paul sent Timothy to encourage the Thessalonians because they knew the people were being persecuted. Timothy was a young preacher and probably very enthusiastic. He would have been a terrific encourager.

3:3 – As Christians, are we all destined for trials? Find Biblical passages to answer this question.

3:5 – Because of the persecution, Paul was particularly interest in how the faith of the Thessalonians was holding up. We should check on and encourage those we know are hurting so their ministries continue to thrive.

3:6-7 – Timothy returned to Paul with wonderful news about how the Thessalonians persevered in faith in the face of this oppression. See 1:6. How is it that some people are able to stand strong in faith during a time of persecution? Seek out such a testimony.

3:7-9 – The Thessalonians had great faith, which brought Paul much joy in the midst of his own suffering. Who might you encourage because of your faith?

3:10 – Paul prayed day and night for these people. Who else did he pray for like that? (Hint: read Paul’s other letters.) For whom do you intercede multiple times a day? Pray for what is lacking in the faith of others to be supplied by the Holy Spirit.

3:11 – Do you pray for God to clear a path for the ministry He’s given you? You should.

3:12 – When the Lord fills you to overflowing, you must pour what He gives you into others.

3:13 – Who are Jesus’ “holy ones”? Saints? Angels? Read Matthew 25:31 and 2 Thessalonians 1:7. They are angels.


Each chapter of these letters to the Thessalonians teaches much about how to pray for yourself and others. How have you learned to pray today?

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