Last week we started a new study in 1&2 Thessalonians, under the header “Finding Hope in Uncertain Times”. It should be a timely series. We covered all of chapter one last Sunday, and what with the all the holiday happs, I didn’t get around to updating this blog. We should be back on track now though.
I was talking to an insurance agent who is a believer, who was telling me how the company he represents is by and large trying to pull out of Florida. This has had the effect of almost wiping his business out. Yet, the first thing he said was “This is the time when our testimony will shine, because we have a hope that’s not of this world.” One of the natural by-products of our hope during times of trouble is that we find opportunities to share that hope with other people. Really…that’s probably the primary focus we as the church should have…to share our hope in Christ with those who have no hope.
As we look at how Paul describes his presentation of the Message of Christ to the Thessalonian people, we can find some insights into how we can be effective in presenting the hope we have with the world around us.
In v 1-2, Paul explains how he had faced a lot of hostility in Phillipi, just before he came to Thessalonica. He doesn’t go into detail…but he was publicly humiliated in Phillipi…yet he says he still had boldness to speak in their city. What was the source of his boldness? Was his confidence in his speaking ability, or his knowledge of theology, or his marketing strategy? What was Paul confident in ? What do we learn about being effective in sharing our hope during OUR times of trouble?
In v3-6, Paul describes what he DIDN’T do when sharing his faith. What does all of that add up to? How would you summarize his approach? How does that make our sharing of the hope we have effective in OUR world when times are hard?
In v7-12, Paul really opens up his heart and describes how much the Thessalonians mean to him. v7 and v9 and 11 provide the adjectives which reveals how he treated them. What do those adjectives reveal to you? How would you apply those to your attempts at sharing the hope you have in Christ with the world where you’ve been placed?
Definitely stuff to think about. See you Sundee’!