Good morning. It is one thing to look on from afar at the trouble other people are enduring. It is quite something else to discover that you are just as vulnerable and despised as they are.
CONNECT (Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ Who is an example to you, who you imitate? Have you given thanks to God for their good example? Have you praised them for their presence in your life?
_ What is one way the Lord is impacting the life of someone you are walking with (to help grow in or discover Jesus)?
_ Lord our God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his back to be whipped and did not hide his face from shame and spitting: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
DISCOVER [ 1 Thes. 2:13-16 ] 13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. 14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind 16 by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last!
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
_ What do Paul and his fellow writers give thanks for?
_ What did the church of Thessalonica do when they heard the good news of salvation through Christ?
_ What happened to them because they changed their ways to be like Christ?
_ What is happening to those who rejected the Gospel and persecuted the Church of God?
_ Is it right for Paul to be glad that wrath has come upon those who opposed his message?
_ How could the shared suffering between the original believers in Judea, and these later believers in Thessalonica, be an encouragement?
_ Why is the Gospel, the way of Jesus Christ, opposed in these places?
+ 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)