Never Give Up! Serving Other- 1Thess. 2

Have you felt like giving up lately? What keeps you going? I must be a meaningful relationship that encourages you and you care to cultivate. When someone becomes ‘very dear’ to you, as the Thessalonians had to Paul, it becomes natural to share life’s joys and struggles with them (2.8). A good relationship can ‘spark off’ but strong, significant and lasting ones take time to build and maintain. Here, great need can cause tremendous growth. What does this investment look like? Paul paints 4 pictures for us that help us serve together and not give up in tough times:
1. A Consistent Steward (2:1–6)
The basic, essential requirement of a steward is to be faithful with regard to: (a) The Message: Guarding the Gospel (b) Ministry: Serving Christ’s body (c) Members: Caring for God’s family. Trustworthy stewards willingly endure hardship. They use honest methods with pure motives, never for personal gain. Paul gave praise publicly where due but didn’t fall for flattery.
2. A Caring Mother (2:7–8)
Paul gave himself in the service to others like a ‘nursing mother’ (2:7). We must offer younger disciples TLC (Tender, Loving Care). It is crucial we feed new believers with milk and honey (1Pet.2:2; Psa. 119:3) before they can help themselves with bread and meat (Mt.4:4; 1Cor 3:1-4)
3. A Concerned Father (2:9–16)
Paul perceived the problem in “Bible” churches when he chided: “You have many instructors or teachers but few fathers!” (1Cor.4:15). Children are looking for heroes. If their fathers aren’t spiritual role models, they find them, often in the wrong places! Fathers lead by example, not force. With sacrifice, hard-earned money (2:6) and tough love, they both warn and encourage.
4. A Compassionate Brother (2:17–20)
The local church is a fellowship of “brothers and sisters” where service time is family time. The word com-passion literally means “to suffer with”. So, when away from church, Paul felt like an “orphan”! So he prayed for, corresponded with and couldn’t wait to see his family again. There was someOne else Paul and all true believers loved and long to see again – their Lord Jesus!

Conclusion: Indian Take Away,..
Think: What an honor and privilege to be a trustee of the Gospel that changes people forever!
Q: In what ways do you ‘love on’ new attendees and nurture younger disciples at our church?
A mentor has gone where you want to go and can help you get there! Do you have one? Why?
What’s the best way to be ready for Christ’s 2nd coming? – Keep loving, and serving one another!


Gethsemane: what to do at your breaking point

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Gethsemane, Aramaic for ‘Oil press’, was an olive garden maintained by wealthy Jews on the west slopes of the Mt. of Olives (Mt. 26:36-41; Lk. 22:42). On his way to Jerusalem, across the Kidron valley, Jesus reveals to his disciples … Continue reading

Jesus… ‘in the midst’

crosses.jpgJesus must be the centre and source of the Christian faith and life. The Good Friday and Easter Sunday events show Jesus dying ‘in the midst’ of two thieves, then manifesting himself ‘in the midst’ of his followers as the resurrected Lord. What was He doing amidst these people? Studying the significance of these occasions will help us understand the reality of Jesus’ oft-quoted promise: Where two or three are gathered in my name there I am ‘in the midst’ (Mt. 18:20) Continue reading

Take a walk… with God!

It was a pleasant Sunday evening as Cleopas and his friend tread a seven mile road toward a town named Emmaus (Lk. 24:13-35). The two were feeling down and disheartened. Jesus, their teacher, had inspired much hope in them but then he was unjustly tried and murdered three days ago. They were further disillusioned as mysterious news concerning his missing body had filtered to their ears that morning Continue reading

God’s “Home” town, Bethlehem: believe it or not!

bethlehem.jpgNo matter where we happen to be, the mention of our native place or “hometown” can recreate fond memories and associations. “Bethlehem” focuses our thoughts on a precise time in history and transports us to a particular place in Palestine where Christmas happened (Lk.2:4). Importantly, it tells the story of a peculiar way in which God revealed himself and his loving purposes to us Continue reading

Immanuel: Our Alongside God, with Skin On!

maryboychild.jpgThe two fears characterize our post-modern, hi-tech age: loneliness and despair. We’ve actively filled life with ‘stuff’ that paradoxically leave us empty and disillusioned. We crave ‘something more’ hoping the ‘next best thing’ will satisfy! Our materialistic lifestyles have left us more to live with yet less to live for! We have so many time-saving gadgets but no quality time for our ministry or family. We long for meaningful, enduring relationships: someone to share life with! Continue reading

Watch Your Mouth!

Proverbs is a practical book, like James in the NT, and offers wisdom and warnings that relate to real life issues. Communication is vital in any relationship and proper speech or use of words can either make or break relationships. We’ve heard the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words cannot harm me.” Really?! Proverbs teaches us much about a boneless part of our body that wields immense power for good or evil and can create untold problems! Continue reading