I Thessalonians 3 – To Stand Firm in the Presence of God
Thursday, 9th February 2023
Rev Daniel Xi An
Section One V1-5 Humble and Obey
We want to do a lot of things, we want to change a lot of things, but this is also a signal, telling us that we have forgotten the Power of God and the Presence of God. How can we see God is with us? It’s easy for us to see the problems, but it’s not easy for us to see God. When God is with us, our worries will leave us, our fears will leave us, and we can stand firm in God. God is always with us, but how can we leave our weaknesses, shame, and self-condemnation? Paul wrote the message to the church of Thessalonica to help them stand firm in the presence of God.
Don’t make ourselves gods, don’t make ourselves idols, but to believe that God is able. God is able, it’s not us, it’s not others, but it’s God. Paul was talking to the people of the church of Thessalonica that they could not wait anymore because of all the problems in the church. But Paul did not go there straight away, he waited in Greece, because he knew God will be there. Do we really know God is there? So often we feel like that we have to go to where the problem occurs, we feel that if we don’t go then something bad will happen. But when God tells us to wait and be still, can we humble and obey?
This is a great spiritual warfare, but Paul waited, he had faith in God. He knew it’s not a problem that only Paul can solve. He gave the authority to God and sent young Timothy to go on behalf of him. Paul wrote to the church that Timothy was his brother, the minister of God, a fellow labour in the Gospel of Christ; he gave assurance to the church of Thessalonica that Timothy was sent by God. Paul uplifted God and he also uplifted Timothy, he brought the love and power of God in his message.
Paul knew the church was facing afflictions and tribulations, he did not deny this fact, instead, he said they were appointed to this, because they were not walking in the worldly way. Paul already told the church before about what they would be facing, as followers of Christ, there would be hardship and suffering in this world. Paul could no longer endure so he sent Timothy to them and let them know that he did not forget about them.
Section Two V6-10 Stand Firm in God
Paul saw the faith and love of the church of Thessalonica, he did not focus on the things they did or the results of their work, but their faith and love. He encouraged them as they continued to connect with their authority in great tribulations. They did not complain and they did not blame on Paul for their hardship. What is our attitude towards the challenges we face in life? When we shepherd others and build them up, what do we see? Do we see the problems in their lives? Or do we give thanks for their perseverance and their faith in God?
Paul saw how the people of the church continued to stand fast in God, and he was encouraged. Paul was not angry or depressed, but he rejoiced, he knew everything was from God. He did not make himself higher than God and he did not allow himself to be the idols of others. Paul knew their faith was small, so he prayed for them day and night. When we fast and pray, are we also praying exceedingly day and night like Paul?
Section Three V11-13 Love One Another
Paul put the focus back to the Father in Heaven. We must always bring our focus back to the Father, it’s so easy for us to see Jesus, but not the Father. However Jesus also came to uplift the Father, He did not bring the focus to Himself but to the Father in Heaven. Do we know that without the Father there is no Son? Let us not be our own king, but to uplift the Father; He is our loving Father. Do we see the love of God? Do we also see the love from our authority?
We can love ourselves; we can love those dear to us, but it’s not easy to love all. Without God, we cannot have this abundant love to all, for one another, and to stand firm. Let us stand firm in God in this day of trouble.
帖撒罗尼迦前书 3 – 在神面前站立得稳
V1-2a 保罗在眼看事情越来越严重、已经“不能再忍”的时候，没有着急赶回帖撒罗尼迦。保罗知道帖撒罗尼迦出现很大的问题，当地的犹太人甚至追着保罗跑。在极大的争战中，保罗愿意独自等在雅典，没有自认为只有自己才能解决问题，因为他相信有神在。保罗所打发回去帖撒罗尼迦教会的是年轻的提摩太，并称他为“我们的兄弟”、“做神执事的”，给教会带下盼望。在我们所牧养的人面前，我们所撒发的只是我们自己吗，还是让人心里踏实? 保罗在教会面前没有高举自己，而是让耶和华上升，也让提摩太上升。