1 Thessalonians 2 (7)
Pray Psalm 48.9-11.
We have thought, O God, on Your lovingkindness,
In the midst of Your temple.
According to Your name, O God,
So is Your praise to the ends of the earth;
Your right hand is full of righteousness.
Let Mount Zion rejoice,
Let the daughters of Judah be glad,
Because of Your judgments.
Read 1 Thessalonians 2.1-20.
1. As Paul understood it, to what should our salvation lead? As those who are saved, to what are we called? What does that entail?
2. What can you learn from Paul’s example about working with the people in your Personal Mission Field?
We learn from 1 Thessalonians 2 that it’s good to review our salvation – how we came to be saved, what has happened as a result of being saved, and what the overarching objective of our salvation must be.
Paul has just received a glowing report from Timothy about the state of the church in Thessalonica. All is going well, and it is clear that the message of the Gospel took firm root with the Thessalonians. Their witness to Christ in words and deeds was going out throughout Greece and beyond.
Nevertheless, Paul felt it was important to remind them both of his manner of ministering among them and of their good beginning. He recalled his work among them to say how much he loved them – they were his “glory and joy” – because he had some more difficult words to offer in the chapters following this one, and he wanted them to know these were written in love.
He reminded them of the evidence of their faith because he wanted them to continue in it, to keep on pursuing their Kingdom-and-glory calling, and not to rest on their laurels. It’s not enough to start well. Our calling to God’s Kingdom and glory requires that we continue turning from sin, growing in and serving the Lord, and preparing constantly for Christ’s return.
Both these purposes – the reminder of Paul’s love and of their good beginning – will come together in chapters 3-5, as Paul urges them to continue and improve in all aspects of their faith.
Reading Paul’s description of his ministry, we can gain some insights for working our own Personal Mission Fields. We must be sure we love the people to whom God sends us – like mothers and fathers love their children. We must work diligently at all the disciplines our Personal Mission Field requires: preparation, conversation, demonstrating Christ’s righteousness and love, and seeking to be transformed and to transform our world for His glory. All the while, we must keep our eyes on the Lord and do our work as unto Him, seeking only His glory and to please Him in all we do. We have been entrusted with the Gospel, just as Paul was, and we may expect the Lord to use us for His Kingdom and glory to the extent that we are faithful and obedient in our calling.
1. Meditate on Paul’s reminder of his ministry among the Thessalonians. What can you learn from him to strengthen your work in your Personal Mission Field?
2. We are saved so that we might live for the Kingdom and glory of God. From 1 Thessalonians 1 and 2, how can you see that the Thessalonians were doing this?
3. Paul makes much about looking forward to and preparing for the coming of our Lord Jesus. What does this require of us?
He presents in a few words the sum and substance of his exhortations, that, in magnifying the mercy of God, he admonished them not to fail as to their calling. His commendation of the grace of God is contained in the expression, who hath called us into his kingdom. For as our salvation is founded upon God's gracious adoption, every blessing that Christ has brought us is comprehended in this one term. It now remains that we answer God's call, that is, that we shew ourselves to be such children to him as he is a Father to us. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 2.12
You have called me to Your Kingdom and glory, Father, and I want to be faithful to that calling. Today remind me of Your love for me, and help me to…
Pray Psalm 48.1-14.
Beauty, joy, holiness, praise, rejoicing, telling – this is the life of those who are called to the Kingdom and glory of God. Ask the Lord to bring more of these attributes and practices into your life today.
Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 48 (Cwm Rhondda: Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah)
Great is God, now greatly praise Him in the city of the Lord.
Holy she, His lovely mountain, great and glorious by His Word!
God her King is great within her, He, her Stronghold ever sure!
He, her Stronghold ever sure!
Earthly kings, amazed and wond’ring, look upon the Church with fear.
See them flee in dread and anguish, knowing that the Lord is near.
For the city of the Savior God will keep forevermore!
God will keep forevermore!
For Your grace and lovingkindness we proclaim Your matchless worth!
As Your Name is, great and boundless, let Your praise fill all the earth.
Let Your people sing rejoicing for the judgment of Your truth;
For the judgment of Your truth.
Walk about the blessèd city, see her beauty, see her power.
Count her ramparts, filled with glory, look on ev’ry mighty tower.
Tell her glory to the nations: God will guide her evermore;
God will guide her evermore!
T. M. Moore
Where do 1 and 2 Thessalonians fit in the unfolding of God’s covenant? Our course, Introduction to Biblical Theology, can help you understand the setting of all the books of the Bible, and how they fit into God’s unfolding plan of redemption. Watch the brief video introducing this course at The Ailbe Seminary (click here), then plan to register after January 1 in our Certificate in Kingdom Studies program, featuring Introduction to Biblical Theology.
Forward today’s study to some friends, and challenge them to study with you through this series on 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Each week’s lessons will be available as a free PDF download at the end of the week. Get a copy for yourself and send the link to the download to your friends. Plan to meet weekly to study Paul’s ministry and prepare for your own.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).