Good Wednesday morning! Today we read from Paul’s letter to the church of the Thessalonians, where he encourages a sincere awakening of a powerful ministry of Christ. Let this letter also encourage and teach us in our daily ministries, to which God has called each of us to be witnesses. We at Downtown Hope are thankful for you! - Max
CONNECT (Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ What is something joyful you have witnessed this week? How did it encourage you? What is a hardship you witnessed or bore this week? How did you rely on Christ within it?
_ What is one way the Lord is impacting the life of someone you are walking with (to help grow in or discover Jesus)?
PRAY- 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 Thes 2: 1-12 ] 2 For you yourselves know, brothers,[a] that our coming to you was not in vain. 2 But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. 3 For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5 For we never came with words of flattery,[b] as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle[c] among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. 8 So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. 9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10 You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. 11 For you know how, like a father with his children, 12 we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
_ Why does Paul in vs.1 remind this local church, that Paul and his disciples in Christ had not come to Thessalonica in vain? Look to (1 Thes 1:9-10), (1 Thes 2: 2). What about this statement is encouraging?
_ What does it mean for us in vs. 4 to be entrusted with the Gospel? What responsibilities reside there?
_ What does it mean in vs. 4 that in our ministry to witness, we are to please God and not man? What does this look like?
_ How does Paul, in vs. 7-8, layout how our nature is to be in our ministries?
_ What does Paul claim the Thessalonians to be in vs. 10 in regards to the ministry he has started? Why does he say this? Is this for their example?
_ How did, in vs. 11-12, Paul encourage and teach the Thessalonians? How does it encourage and teach us today?
_ 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)