INTRODUCTION: The Apostle Paul had been faithful to the Great Commission of Jesus “in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted” (1 Tim. 1:11). Paul now passed the mission on to his protégé Timothy: “This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child…” (1 Tim. 1:18). We also have been given the charge to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Our witnessing and ministry must be bathed in prayer and rooted in worship. A person of prayer and worship has the power to share the Good News of Jesus.
WE MUST PRAY FOR ALL PEOPLE AND AUTHORITIES.
*We pray so we can have a peaceful environment where the gospel can be proclaimed to all without disruption. “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” (1-2).
*What kind of prayers are we to pray?
Specific requests - supplications
General requests – prayers
Mediating requests – intercessions
Prayers of gratitude – thanksgivings
*Who are we to pray for?
Pray for everyone - be made for all people
Pray for those in authority and leadership positions - for kings and all who are in high positions
*We should passionately pray for all people and leaders because:
God desires all people everywhere to be saved. “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (3-4).
There is one God and Mediator for all people. “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (5).
Jesus Christ offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin to set them all free. “The man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time” (6).
WE MUST WORSHIP PRAYERFULLY AND PROPERLY.
*Men should be honest and holy in worship. “I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling” (8).
Men need to approach God with purity and transparency (open-handed).
Men need to settle the differences they have with others before they come to worship God.
*Women should be modest and humble in worship.
Women should dress modestly for worship and cultivate a humble and godly spirit. “Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works” (9-10).
Women should be quiet during the service and not disrupt the worship. “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness” (11).
Women should “not take over and tell men what to do. They should study to be quiet and obedient along with everyone else” (v. 12 The Message). “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor” (12-14).
An obedient woman named Mary yielded to God and reversed the fall by bearing the Savior of the world. Godly women will follow in her footsteps and continue in faith. “Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control” (15).
“But all things should be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40).
INTRODUCTION: When someone is given a charge, they are given an assignment, a responsibility to keep, a task to carry out. Soldiers commit to carry out a mission. Politicians swear to uphold the Constitution. A witness pledges to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. Jesus gave every believer a charge in the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). The Apostle Paul had been faithful to the task “in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted” (1 Tim. 1:11). Paul now passed the mission on to his
protégé Timothy: “This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child…” (1 Tim. 1:18). We have been given the charge to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
WE ARE TO PROTECT THE GOSPEL FROM FALSE DOCTRINE AND TEACHERS.
“As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith” (3-4).
The Good News is received by faith (3-4).
False teachers promote speculation, misunderstand the law of God, and argue about meaningless topics (6-10).
The glorious Good News of Jesus Christ comes from God (11).
WE ARE TO PRESERVE THE GOSPEL IN LOVE AND TRUTH.
‘The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (5).
The goal of the Gospel is to produce people who have true faith, lead lives of integrity and have love for one another (5).
Paul’s testimony is that the mercy and grace of God through Jesus Christ rescued and transformed him and gave him the mission of telling others the Good News (12-17).
The truth of the Gospel is “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (15).
WE ARE TO PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL BOLDLY.
“This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience” (18-19).
We are saved to serve and must engage in a life-long mission to tell the Good News to others (18-19).
Some have failed to do this and have destroyed their faith and testimony (20).
Are you ready to carry out the charge to protect, preserve, and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ?
You can make this commitment today:
Who’s Your One?Choose one person that you will commit to pray for until they receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. Write their name down and place it on the cross so we can pray too.
Use the 30 Day Who’s Your One? Devotional to pray for your one daily.
Look for ways to share the Good News with your one. Invite your one to church events or upcoming festivities like the Fall Festival or Homecoming. Or take your one out to lunch or coffee.
INTRODUCTION: In the hectic day to day struggle to survive and maintain, it is very easy to lose sight of who we are in Christ and the task he has called us to do. We may even get so tired of the struggle that we give up or back off or let down our guard. The vision becomes blurred in the tears of the moment. Paul reminded his listeners to “not grow weary in doing good” (3:13). Tough times call for tireless troops. when others seem to falter or grow weary and drop out of the battle, that is the time to remember that “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31). How can you stay fresh and strong as you serve the Lord?
DEVELOP A LIFESTYLE OF PRAYER AND FAITHFULNESS.
*Pray for the advance of the gospel and deliverance from wicked and evil men. “Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you,and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men” (1-2).
*Pray for trust and obedience to God’s word. “For not all have *faith.But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command” (3-4).
*Pray for a deeper understanding of God’s love and perseverance as you wait for Christ. “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ” (5).
Aim to be intimate with God and tough in ministry.
AVOID A LIFESTYLE OF IDLENESS AND DISOBEDIENCE.
*Keep away from loafers because idleness leads to sin. “Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us” (6).
*Work builds character and wealth. “For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate” (7-9).
*Idleness leads to poverty and trouble. “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies” (10-11).
*Applaud the hard worker but admonish the shirker. “Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living. As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother (12-15). Aim to work hard and do the right thing at all times.
INTRODUCTION: We all ask God “Why?” sometimes. We are perplexed by the corruption, confusion, and criminals. We are troubled by illness, disease, and difficulties. We feel slighted, cheated, and rejected at times by even our friends. Good people let us down and bad people seem to win. Life seems stacked against us and we do not think we can go on. The Apostle Paul tells us that afflictions and trials are normal and to be expected. During all these things, “Stand firm” (15). Jesus Christ will destroy evil and reward his faithful people when he comes again!
WE WAIT FOR THE DAY OF THE LORD (1-12).
*Paul explains the difference between the Rapture (2:1) and the Day of the Lord (2:2). “Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come” (2:1-2).
*End Time events outlined:
the Rapture of the saints (1).
the rebellion against God (3).
the man of lawlessness (6-9).
the rebuilt Temple of God (4).
the removal of the Restrainer (6-7).
the false signs and wonders (9).
the delusion of the wicked (10-11).
the second coming of Christ (8).
the condemnation of the lost (10-11).
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.But the day of the Lord will come like a thief…” (2 Peter 3:9-10).
WE MUST SERVE THE LORD TODAY (13-17).
*We are saved through the Spirit by faith in Christ. “But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (13-14).
*We stand firm through the teachings of Christ. “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter” (15).
*We are loved and encouraged through hope in Christ. “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts” (16-17).
*We are strengthened by God to serve Christ. “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father…comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word” (16-17).
“Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God” (2 Peter 3:11-12).
INTRODUCTION: A few months after he had written his first letter, Paul wrote a second letter to the church at Thessalonica to clear up some misunderstanding the church had about Paul’s teaching. Either through a false letter or teacher, the new church was told that “the day of the Lord” had already come (2:2). This led to confusion and idleness in the church. Paul corrects the church by reporting that Jesus is coming soon. Therefore, the church should trust God, stand firm, and do what’s right. This message presents the subject and outline for the book. You can trust God to do the right thing. You both trust God and persevere in this life or you reject God and suffer judgment in the afterlife. God’s character reveals that you can trust him!
TRUST GOD THROUGH THE CURRENT CRISIS (1:1-5).
*How can you trust God? Paul says we need a growing faith, increasing love, and persevering hope. “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring” (3-4).
*Why should we trust God? “This is evidence” of your salvation and future reward. “This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering” (5).
TRUST GOD FOR THE COMING JUDGMENT (1:6-10).
*One day God will settle accounts with every person. Since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed (6-10).
*The fate of the wicked: payday (6); punishment (8); banishment (9).
*The glory of the righteous: relief (7); reward (10); Redeemer (10).
TRUST GOD BY CONSTANTLY PRAYING (1:11-12).
*Always be in an attitude of prayer. “To this end we always pray for you” (11).
*What is prayer? How do we pray? What do we pray for? “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (11-12).
Pray that God will:
Affirm his calling in their lives (11).
Empower their desire for goodness (11).
Complete their works of faith (11).
Glorify Jesus Christ through them (12).
God is in control. God loves you. You can trust him!
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Church Gainesville, FL 09-01-19
You Reap What You Sow
INTRODUCTION: By any definition, growth is a miracle. A single dormant seed mysteriously springs to life and with proper nurture produces a bountiful harvest. But what we plant is important. “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow” (Galatians 6:7 NRSV). The seeds we plant determine the harvest we reap. Christians can develop (grow) in their spiritual life. There are three good seeds we can plant so we can GROW in our Christian life. The Lord causes these seeds to GROW.
SOW SEEDS OF WORSHIP.
*We can sow seeds of the flesh or we can sow seeds of the Spirit. Worship is focusing everything we do to please and honor God. “If you plant in the field of your natural desires, from it you will gather the harvest of death; if you plant in the field of the Spirit, from the Spirit you will gather the harvest of eternal life” (Galatians 6:8 GNT).
*God deserves our PRAISE. “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6 NIV).
*God chooses to DWELL where He is praised. “Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel (Psalm 22:3 ESV).
*The Lord rewards those who earnestly desire to KNOW Him. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV).
*We can GROW through worship. God rewards our worship.
SOW SEEDS OF WITNESS.
*Jesus said every one of His FOLLOWERS would be a witness. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8 NIV).
*A witness gives a personal TESTIMONY about what he or she has seen or heard or experienced. “The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:2-3 NIV).
*The Lord gives SUCCESS to those who tell others about Him. “So let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest” (Galatians 6:9 GNT).
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:10-11 NIV).
We can GROW through our witness. God rewards our witness.
SOW SEEDS OF WORK.
*Labor is necessary for success and GROWTH. “Lazy people want much but get little, while the diligent are prospering” (Prov. 13:4 TLB). “Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically” (Romans 12:11 TLB).
*God’s work requires WORKERS. Jesus said to his disciples: "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Matthew. 9:37-38 NIV).
*God honors our EFFORTS for Him. “So then, as often as we have the chance, we should do good to everyone, and especially to those who belong to our family in the faith” (Galatians 6:10 GNT).
“Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain”(1 Corinthians 15:58).
*The best work is TEAMWORK. Paul wrote: “God is important because he is the one who makes things grow. Apollos and I are working as a team with the same aim, though each of us will be rewarded for his own hard work. We are only God’s coworkers” (1 Corinthians 3:7-9 TLB).
We can GROW through our work for the Lord. God rewards our work.
INTRODUCTION: As Paul close this letter to new believers, he reminds them that they are members of the family of God. God calls us to live together as members of his family. Along with the freedom we have in Christ, God gives us certain responsibilities as members in his family.
YOUR MEMBERSHIP IN GOD’S FAMILY GIVES YOU…
GUIDELINES FOR LIVING IN COMMUNITY (12-15).
“We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone” (12-15).
*Some things hurt community: lack of cooperation; idleness; timidity; impatience; retaliation.
*There are positive steps to build community: respect your leaders (12-13); live in peace; practice the truth – warn, encourage, help, be patient, be kind (14-15).
BOUNDARIES FOR LIVING ABUNDANTLY (16-22).
*First, trust God. be joyful, pray continually, give thanks. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (16-18).
*Second, walk in the Spirit: cooperate with the Spirit’s promptings; listen to your teachers; discern right from wrong. “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil” (19-22).
PRINCIPLES FOR LIVING PRAYERFULLY (23-28).
*Pray for holiness. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be keptblameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it (23-24).
*Pray for otherpeople. Brothers, pray for us (25).
*Love one another and fellowship with one another. Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss (26).
*Read God’s Word and worship together. I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers (27).
*Accept God’s grace. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you (28).
INTRODUCTION: Evidently some of the Christians at Thessalonica had questions about the return of Christ and about what happens to a person when he or she dies. Paul answered their questions carefully and pointed to the return of Christ as a great source of hope for the Christian who dies or remains alive. One of the purposes of the church is to praise and worship the Lord. God calls us to magnify Him. The return of Jesus Christ gives us great hope and a reason to praise the Lord. We have reason to magnify the Lord because…
WE HAVE HOPE WHEN WE DIE (4:13-14).
Question: What happens to the dead in Christ?
*Unbelievers are ignorant about death and grieve without hope. But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope (13).
*Christians have faith in a living Lord and know the future beyond the grave. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep (14).
WE HAVE HOPE FOR THE FUTURE (4:15-18; 5:1-3).
Question: When will the Lord return?
*Jesus will return for us one day. The sequence of last things (4:15-18): (1) The Lord will come again; (2) The dead in Christ will rise; (3) We who are alive will be caughtup to meet him in the clouds; (4) We will be with the Lord forever.
*What we don’t know: No need for times or dates. Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. (5:1)
*What we do know: The end will come suddenly. The end will come unexpectedly. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will comeupon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape (2-3).
WE HAVE HOPE FOR TODAY (5:4-11).
Question: How are we to live until he comes again?
But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.
Light vs. Darkness;
Day vs. Night;
Sober vs. Drunk;
Alert vs. Asleep;
Salvation vs. Wrath.
Sum: Live alert, Christ-controlled lives in faith, hope, and love. Encourage one another and build each other up.
For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (9-11).
INTRODUCTION: Living the gospel means doing life together as faithful followers of Christ. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians to encourage and support them in their new-found faith. He reminded them how they had believed the gospel despite much opposition, yet they continued to demonstrate faith, hope and love. New believers need encouragement, instruction, and prayer. Paul was careful to disciple and praise these new believers. He also warned them about the dangers and pitfalls that Christians will face in their faith. A Christian’s personal life must reflect the life of Christ. A believer’s morals, character, relationships, and work ethic are strong indicators of his or her walk with Christ. Paul discusses these areas in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12.
A FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN EXHIBITS SELF-CONTROL (1-8).
*A faithful Christian aims to please God in all he or she does. A Christian’s walk must match his or her talk. “Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more” (1).
*Christians are to live lives that are different from the world. God wants us to take his command seriously. “For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you” (7-8).
*God wants us to control our sexual desires and habits. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God” (3-5).
*Immorality defrauds and hurts fellow believers (6). “that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you” (6).
A FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN LOVES FELLOW BELIEVERS (9-10).
*Jesus told us to love one another. “Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another” (9).
*True love is contagious and generous. The Thessalonians gave willingly to the saints in Jerusalem (Romans 15:26) and set an example in giving for the Corinthian church (2 Corinthians 8:1-3). “for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more” (10).
A FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN STRIVES FOR A BALANCED, CONSISTENT LIFE (11-12).
“But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one” (11-12).
*Paul’s definition of ambition: lead a quiet life; be diligent; be a hard worker; be self-reliant; be consistent.
CONCLUSION: The Christian life is a marathon not a sprint.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
INTRODUCTION: Living the gospel means doing life together as faithful followers of Christ. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians to encourage and support them in their new-found faith. He reminded them how they had believed the gospel despite much opposition. Yet they continued to demonstrate faith, hope and love. Paul reviewed how he had shared the gospel with them and that they gladly received the good news. Now their faith was widely known because they also shared the gospel with the right motives, manner and message. Paul had been separated from the new believers and he was concerned that they remain faithful to the good news. He sent Timothy to see how the Thessalonians were doing. Paul did not leave them to fend for themselves. New believers need encouragement, instruction, and prayer. Paul was careful to disciple these new believers.
NEW BELIEVERS REQUIRE SUPPORT & ENCOURAGEMENT.
*The evangelist has a passion to help new believers. “But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face” (2:17).
*Satan has a goal of hindering new believers and mentors. “We wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us” (2:18).
*New believers are our joy and reward at the Lord’s coming. “For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy” (2:19-20).
NEW BELIEVERS NEED INSTRUCTION IN THEIR FAITH.
*Wise teachers can train new believers in morals, doctrine, and endurance. “Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, that no one be moved by these afflictions” (3:1-3).
*New believers will face affliction and temptation. Satan tries to undermine their faith. “For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that wewere to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know. For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain” (3:3-5).
*Believers stand firm when they practice faith, love and fellowship. “But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you— for this reason, brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith. For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord” (3:6-8).
NEW BELIEVERS THRIVE IN AN ATMOSPHERE OF PRAYER.
*Prayer expresses our joy and thanksgiving in our relationships. “For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God” (3:9).
*Prayer seeks God’s wisdom and direction. “We pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith” (3:10).
*Prayer uplifts others and desires their growth in love and holiness. “Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father” (3:11-13).
*Prayer looks forward to the second coming of the Lord Jesus. May God “establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints” (3:13).
New believers need encouragement, instruction, and prayer.