I Thessalonians 2 – Life Impact Life
Wednesday, 8th February 2023
Rev Daniel Xi An
Section One V1-6 Rely on God Completely
V1 ‘For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain.’ Paul was willing to humble himself and gave up on preaching in Asia, he experienced prosecution and was jailed. But he praised and worshiped God in the jail, they let God arise and influenced the lives of the jailer and his family. Again he lived out his life testimony to the church of Thessalonica, so they would see that their God was a living God, their God was a God they could truly experience. It’s not just a knowledge but a life.
V2 ‘But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict.’ When Paul was preaching, he faced much conflict, because the devil wanted to stop them from preaching to the cities. But Paul, Silas, and Timothy did not give up, they continued to preach the Gospel and to live out the godly lives as the testimony of God. They were bold in speaking the Gospel, and they were not afraid. Do we also have the same heart to be determine in sharing the testimonies, and living out a life for God? There will be much conflict and challenges, but God will protect us, provide for us, and lead us until the end.
V4 ‘But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.’ We should live out a life pleasing God, not pleasing people. We are so used to pleasing others, we want to make everyone happy, and other people can very easily influence us. But today we must live out the life of God, to please God not to please people. When we share the Gospel, do we truly believe that the Gospel is Good News? We are not sharing the Gospel to please people and we should not be afraid to share the Gospel. Because it is the Good News, do not fear that others may reject us, there is no shame but only benefit when we share the Good News to others.
V5-6 ‘For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ.’ The Holy Spirit comes to examine our lives, do we speak words to please God, and do we live a life to please God? God knows our hearts, is our heart greedy? Not necessary just the greed for materials, but the greed for people’s praises, for people’s recognition, for people’s support… when we have this greed, then we cannot preach the Gospel, we will follow the emotions of others.
Section Two V7-12 Love Completely
V7 ‘But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children.’ Is our love for God and our love for people true and complete? Do we love others because we want something in return? Or can we love simply because God loves us first?
V11-12 ‘As you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.’ We should not only love with gentleness but also with wisdom, in our love do we preach the truth? Our lives must glorify Jesus Christ, we are so easy to see our own hurt, but Paul reminded us, true love is to give teaching, not just licking the wound, but to let it heal with the truth.
Section Three V13-20 Offer Completely
V14-16 ‘For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.’ Paul, Silas, and Timothy were being prosecuted by the Jewish people, their own brothers and sisters. But Paul still went to the synagogues first to preach whenever he arrived a city. Paul followed the heart of Christ, he loved his brothers and sisters, even though they prosecuted him. He offered himself completely in preaching the Good News.
The heart of Paul was offered completely for God, for church, and for the brothers and sisters. Despite of all the challenges, Paul did not give up. The devil tried to stop Paul from preaching again and again, but Paul continued to press on. He also encouraged the church to offer completely like him, he shared his own prosecutions and encouraged the church to also press on, only for the crown of God and for standing firm in front of God. Whatever we do is not about people’s praises, but about us and the people we preached the Gospel to, to stand firm in front of God. Do not give up easily on people, their lives would become our joy and our glory.