Saturday, July 15, 2017

Homiletics 1 Thessalonians 1


Content (not sentence, direct verbiage from Scripture, fit on one line):

1.Paul, Silas&Timothy2church of Thess in G Fr&LJC:grace&peace2u (1)

2.We always thank G4all of u&continually mention u in our prayers (2)

3.we remember b4 G&Fr ur wk produced by faith,labor prompted by lv (3a)

4.&endurance inspired by hope in LJC (3b)

 

5.4we know, bros&sis lvd by G, He’s chosen u (4)

6.bec our gospel came2u simply w/wds,but w/pwr,HS&deep conviction (5a)

7.u know how we lived among u4ur sake (5b)

8.u became imitators of us&L;u welcomd msg in midst of suffering w/joy gvn by HS (6)

 

9.so u became model2all believers in Macedonia&Achaia (7)

10.L’s msg rang out from u only in Macedonia&Achaia, ur faith become known everywhere (8a)

11.T4 we need 2say anything about it (8b)

12.4they rpt what kind reception u gave us;they tell how u turned2G from idols2srv living true G (9)

13.&2wait4Son from hvn whom He raisd, J who rescues us from cming wrath (10)

 

Divisions (run-on sentence OK, direct verbiage from Scripture/Principles are Aims for each Division):

1.Paul greets and encourages Thessalonians (1-3)

Principle:  God’s people need to encourage each other

2.Chosen by God to imitate the Lord and welcome His message (4-6)

Principle:  God’s people need to imitate the behavior of Christ

3.A model to other believers (7-10)

Principle:  God’s people are role models

 

Subject Sentence (10-word sentence with proper structure showing exactly where you are in Scripture):

Paul to Thessalonians: imitate Christ and model behavior to believers.

 

Aim (“To Cause My Audience To…” Know, See, etc.):

TCMATK Believers are the only “Jesus” some people see.  Is your behavior drawing them closer or pushing them away?

 

Application (not yes or no question.  Meant to bring about life change):

1.What will you begin doing this week to better encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ?

2.How will you change your behavior today to be an imitator of Christ?

3.To whom are you a role model and how will you be more deliberate in your behavior to reveal Jesus’ love to them?


A few notes on 1 Thessalonians 1:

 

(1:1)Isn’t it good to have friends with whom to minister?  Doesn’t it make the workload seem less?  Have you ever been on a mission trip and seen truly miraculous things happen because of how Christ draws people together in His name?  Paul was traveling with Silas and Timothy.  With whom are you traveling?

 

I went to Italy last year with several members of our choir.  We joined up with 4 other choirs to sing in some of the most beautiful places and minister to some of the most beautiful people.  We had 1 rehearsal together before singing our first concert a few hours later.  I was blown away at how well this choir blended so quickly.  The only way this could’ve happened is because of Christ and the unity we have in Him.

 

(1:2)What’s your prayer life like?  Is there anyone you are always thanking God for when you pray?  Is there anyone you continually mention in your prayers?  I want this kind of prayer life!  I sense that Paul was passionate when he prayed.  He didn’t just read off a list of demands as I often do.  Paul’s prayers were precious.  I know my prayers are precious to God as well.  Since Paul was human, I imagine he had dry spells in his prayer life, too.  It’s just that I want to pray with that Holy Spirit power and grace I hear when I read Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians aloud.  Does that make sense?  How do you keep your prayer life more purposeful and passionate and less of a list?

 

(1:3)What do you tend to remember about people: the good things or the bad?  Paul remembered very good things about the Thessalonians:  their work produced by faith, their labor prompted by love, their endurance inspired by hope in Christ.  Who might you remember for such things?  How might you encourage that individual or that group?  Or do you have a problem seeing these things in people because you’re focused on the work driven by their arrogance, their labor prompted by ambition and their endurance inspired by being better than everyone else?  Ouch!  I am preaching to myself, here.  We must be transformed by the renewing of our minds, brothers and sisters!

 

I am generally suspicious of people.  I’ve been praying that I would believe the best and not assume the worst about everyone and in every circumstance.  It’s difficult for me to give this blessing.  But I will never forget receiving this blessing from someone else.  I had really messed up and put one of my ministry partners in an awkward situation.  This occurrence also had the potential of hurting someone else’s feelings.  My thoughtless behavior added a burden to my ministry partner to verify all future action in this area.  But when she approached me to reveal what had happened, she was so gracious and kind.  She forgave before I asked her to.  It didn’t change what I’d done or how it would affect how she did things in the future.  Because of how embarrassed I was, I don’t think I’ll ever make that mistake again.  But what I really learned was what grace looked like.  And God’s grace is even more beautiful.  I would like to be remembered for such grace.

 

(1:4)Do you treat every person you meet as a potential brother or sister in Christ?  Let’s look at our author for a moment:  Saul was a murderous persecutor of members of the Way before a life-changing encounter on the road to Damascus.  If Saul were working in the cubicle next to me, I wouldn’t be popping over there to share Christ with him.  I WOULD be praying for him.  What I mean is this:  don’t put yourself in harm’s way on purpose.  Check out Proverbs 22:3.  But don’t write off someone’s ability to be saved because of their behavior.  Ananias was afraid to go to the blinded Saul and pray for his sight to return because of Saul’s brutal reputation.  God Himself spoke to him and told him, to go and not be afraid.  We need to seek God’s guidance and be obedient to His call upon our lives as we share Christ with a dying world.  He is faithful to guide us to keep our distance and pray or go into the lion’s den where He is fully capable of locking their mouths closed.

 

(1:5)How did the gospel come to you?  Did you experience powerful proof of God’s existence before you heard the good news?  Did His power accompany the gospel?  Were you aware of the Holy Spirit entering you?  Were you immediately convicted of your sin?  What sort of experience have you had with God’s power, the Holy Spirit and conviction since?

 

(1:6)How are you imitating Jesus?  Do you read His Word and pay attention to what He does and do the same?  Do you accept and welcome His message with joy even when He says you will suffer in this life?  Do you joyfully take up your cross and follow Him?  What areas of your life look nothing like Him at all?  Where do you need to seek His help in being like Him?  Would someone accuse you of being a Christian?  If all the facts were presented, could you be convicted of being a follower of Jesus in a court of law?

 

My quiet time this morning was spent in Esther 3.  This is the part of the book that describes how Haman approached King Xerxes out of hatred for Mordecai to enact a decree to exterminate all the Jews throughout Xerxes’ kingdom.  He argued that the Jewish people were different than the Persians, that they didn’t honor the king and the laws of the land.  This convicted me and led to some good confession in my prayer time today: do I look like the world or do I stand out as different because I believe in Jesus for my salvation?

 

(1:7)You are a role model to someone.  Maybe your kids look to you as their source of how to act.  Perhaps it’s someone in your church that listens to your answers in Bible study every week and wants to be as knowledgeable as you are.  Maybe it’s a co-worker who knows you’re a Christian and is inspired to see you behave with integrity in the workplace.  We are being watched by some we know and some we don’t.  Are you modeling the behavior of Christ to all who are watching you?  How will you work to improve what you are modeling?

 

(1:8)Are you one of those people who readily praises God and shares what He’s doing in your life?  That is one way our faith is made known.  Are you a quieter witness like the person whose life is falling apart and still shows up for church every week?  What do people know of your faith?  How are you exercising that faith?  Are you sharing your journey with transparency to encourage others?  Are you asking for prayer to help you through struggles with support, encouragement and God’s power?

 

(1:9)Paul said the Thessalonians were remembered for turning to God from idols.  How do you want to be remembered?  Is your behavior such that you will be remembered as you want to be?  How will you change your thinking to remember others well?  How will you come alongside others and encourage them toward love and good deeds so they will be remembered well?  Paul also said the Thessalonians were remembered for serving God.  How are you serving Christ?

 

(1:10)Jesus is coming.  His blood has already saved our souls from judgment and eternal separation from God.  Are you living in such a way that others are coming to know Him and the power of His resurrection through your example?  If you haven’t yet given your heart to Christ, what is delaying your decision?  Don’t wait another moment.  Seek a Christian friend or leader in church and tell them you want to give your heart to Christ so they can pray with you and put you on the path to grow in Him.

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