Happy Friday, everybody! Today we witness Paul’s longing to be with those in the church of Thessalonica. Observe the value that Paul puts on discipleship and community in this passage.
CONNECT (Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ Who is someone that God is calling you to walk with? Are you?
_ What is one way the Lord is impacting the life of someone you are walking with (to help grow in or discover Jesus)?
_ Take some time to thank and praise God for who He is, to pray for those you are walking with, for the needs you/group are facing, and for the Spirit to highlight truth as you read.
DISCOVER [ 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:5 ] 17 But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, 18 because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? 20 For you are our glory and joy. 3 Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone, 2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith, 3 that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. 4 For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know. 5 For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
_ What happened to Paul and those in the church of Thessalonica? (V. 17)
_ What hindered Paul from returning? (V. 19)
_ Why does Paul want to be reunited with the Thessalonians so badly? What value do they hold to him? (Vs. 19-20)
_ Who did Paul send in His absence? What was his job? (Vs. 3:1-2)
_ What were the Thessalonians “destined for” in verse 3?
_ What does this passage reveal about the value of discipleship? Specifically discipling new believers?
_ What good-news about Jesus (salvation, forgiveness, help, comfort) do we discover in this passage?
+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and respond to what I learned today with a simple concrete step of action/obedience? (In groups discuss this in guy/girl break-outs, below are a couple of ideas to help prompt responses if needed)
+ WHO are you walking with that you might pass along or encourage what you learned, with today? (e.g., your family around the dinner table, a friend, co-worker or neighbor you are walking with to discover the message Jesus)