2 Thessalonians 1 (1)
Pray Psalm 133.1.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!
Read 2 Thessalonians 1.1, 2.
1. What is grace? Why is this the first thing churches and believers need?
2. How is the peace that comes from God different from other forms of peace?
God’s priority for His people and His churches can be summed up in two words: grace and peace.
More than a large campus with many staff, programs, and facilities, God wants His churches to know grace and peace.
More than large numbers of worshipers, or a fine worship band, or an expansive missions budget, God wants His churches to know grace and peace.
Grace is the disposition of love and favor with which God looks upon His people. It is also an indwelling power – the power of the Holy Spirit – whereby God is at work within us, transforming us into the image of Jesus Christ, knitting us to one another as members of His Body, and making us willing and able to enter His pleasure and do all His will.
Peace is the condition of resting in the Lord that ensues where grace obtains. God’s peace is a peace you just cannot fully understand, because those who have it can rest in even when the world around them is closing in or falling apart. The peace of God is in fact the Prince of peace, in whom our lives had been hidden in the presence of God.
Grace and peace: What more could anyone want?
And yet how easily we become distracted by all manner of secondary matters, so that our churches become fragmented, our mission is compromised, and we resort to the ways of the world in seeking to do the will of God.
The church in Thessalonica, which had begun so well in the Lord, was finding the grace of God obstructed and its peace disturbed by false teachers who were more interested in their agenda than in the Kingdom and glory of God.
The roles and characters have changed somewhat in our day, but the problem remains the same: People with agendas other than that of the Lord are trying to make the church after their own image.
And what we need today more than all these outward evidences of human-driven agendas is revival and renewal in the grace and peace of the Lord.
1. In what sense was the Thessalonian church – or is any church – in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ? Should this affect the way we think about what we should be doing?
2. How would you explain the grace of God to an unbelieving friend?
3. What makes the peace of God so desirable?
…by a Church in God and Christ is meant one that has not merely been gathered together under the banner of faith, for the purpose of worshipping one God the Father, and confiding in Christ, but is the work and building as well of the Father as of Christ, because while God adopts us to himself, and regenerates us, we from him begin to be in Christ. John Calvin (1509-1564),Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 1.1
Lord, make me a vessel of your grace and peace today. Help me especially to…
Pray Psalm 133.
Pray for your church – its leaders, members, and visitors – that the grace and peace of the Lord might flourish there.
Sing to the Lord.
Psalm 133 (Tryggare Kan Ingen Vara: Children of the Heavenly Father)
O behold, how sweet, how pleasant, when the brethren dwell together;
All in unity abiding find God’s blessing there presiding.
Like the precious oil of blessing flowing down on Aaron’s vestment,
God’s anointing rests forever where His people dwell together.
Like the dew of Hermon’s fountain falling down on Zion’s mountain,
So the blessing of the Savior dwells where unity finds favor.
T. M. Moore
You can map out your Personal Mission Field by watching this brief video (click here). Download the worksheet that goes with the video and get started working your Personal Mission Field today.
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).