The Christian Church should be a source of encouragement

January 4, 2009

 

Good Words for Growing Christians

1, 2 Thessalonians

 

Unit 1: Remember Where You Were (1 Thess. 1:1-3:13)

  1. Jan   4             When You Started Out (1 Thess. 1:1-10)
  2. Jan 11             When Others Helped You (1 Thess. 2:1-16)
  3. Jan 18             When Others Cared for You (1 Thess. 2:17-3:13)

 

Unit 2: Consider Where You are Going (1 Thess. 4:1-5:28)

  1. Jan 25             What is Your Goal in Life? (1 Thess. 4:1-12)
  2. Feb   1             What Hope Do You Have? (1 Thess. 4:13-18)
  3. Feb   8             Are You Ready? (1 Thess. 5:1-11)
  4. Feb 15             Do You Get Along with Others? (1 Thess. 5:12-28)

 

Unit 3: Be Aware God Is In Charge (2 Thess. 1:1-3:18)

  1. Feb 22             You Can Feel Safe (2 Thess. 1:1-12)
  2. Mar  1             You Can Stay Calm (2 Thess. 2:1-17)
  3. Mar  8             You Can Keep at It (2 Thess. 3:1-18)

 

We will skip the two lessons in the book related Christmas and Sanctity of Human Life.

 

Introduction

 

What was special about the church in Thessalonica (modern Salonica)?

 

What do we know about how God directed Paul, Silas & Timothy to church plant here? How did they get there and when? (Review Acts 15 – 18)

 

Who were the early church converts?

 

What is the uniqueness of these two letters to the church we are going to study?

 

What was Paul’s purpose in writing to the church in Thessalonica?

 

Unit 1 Overview: Remember Where You Were (1 Thess. 1:1-3:13)

 

What do you consider are the key events in your life as a Christian?

 

How open are about your personal testimony about becoming a Christian and your life as a Christian since?

 

Three lessons in this unit:       (1) Remembering When You Started Out?

                                                (2) Remembering When Others Helped You?

                                                (3) Remembering When Others Cared for You?

It is easy to thank God for what He has done for us on our Christian journey, but what about thanking those who were there as your mentor, your encourager, your friend or merely someone you looked up to as tried to imitate?

 

Write down as a reminder the names of those who overdue your personal thanks?

_____________________________________________________________________

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Lesson 1: When You Started Out (1 Thess. 1:1-10)

 

  1. Recognizing God’s Work (1 Thess. 1:1-4)
  2. Responding to the Spirit (1 Thess. 1: 5-6)
  3. Influencing Others (1 Thess. 1:7-10)

 

Truth: When people first hear the gospel, they often respond positively, becoming Christians and making changes in their behavior to live for God.

 

How do you feel about what God has done in your life? Can you recognize God’s work in your life?

 

1. Recognizing God’s Work: (1 Thess. 1:1-4)

·   Church?

·   Being Encouraged by Others & Encouraging Others? Through 3 active traits:

         work of faith  

         labor of love

         endurance (patience) of hope

·   “Our Lord Jesus Christ” – Master, Mentor & Model

·   Influence and importance of God’s Election (or, Chosenness)

 

How do these verses indicate we can demonstrate authentic Christianity? How can we acknowledge God’s work in our lives?

 

2. Responding to the Spirit: (1 Thess. 1:5-6)

·   The Gospel? God’s Purpose, Promise & Power inspires our Passion!

·   Our Inspiration: The Holy Spirit

·   Our Aspiration: Be like Lord Jesus

 

How do we know when the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives? How does the Spirit remind us that God wants to work in our lives?

 

3. Influencing Others: (1 Thess. 1:7-10)

Do actions speak louder than words? If so, are you openly expressing joy and gratitude for the Spirit’s work in your life? Are you an example and influence for others?

·   Worship regularly in fellowship of believers

·   Reading God’s Word and Thanking Him Daily

·   Seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit during our prayer time

·   Living by God’s Standards even when difficult and inconvenient

 

Compared to the Thessalonians, think about the influence of our church and the membership over the past year?

 

(Tough question considering recent events, but look beyond that… remember a lesson in life: it takes a life time to build a reputation of trust but only a fleeting moment to tear it down)

 

Otherwise, how far is the influence of the church? Ocala, Marion County, North Florida, and beyond…

 

How will you demonstrate your faith this week in a way that sets a positive example for others? ________________________________________________________________

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Conclusion:

 

How should we link demonstrations of faith with our verbal witness to the Source of the inspiration of those actions?

 

Paul’s message to the early church is the same we need to be reminded of: The Christian Circle of Life, as a disciple, seek others to make more disciples who will live the same Circle of Life, which reflects the Commission Jesus gave to the Church:

 

                                                Know Him

                                                Grow for Him

                                                Go for Him

                                                Show Him

 

Our Christian witness should include a testimony that plainly explains what being a Christian is all about:

1.      The Nature of Conversion

2.      The Nature of Christian Life

3.      The Goal of Christian Life

4.      The Basis of the Gospel

5.      God’s judgment on sinful humanity