Dec 13 1T 1:1-2Th 1:12; Pro 25:23-26:4

Both Sylvanus and Timothy are serving with Paul at the writing of this letter (1:1). He reminds his audience that he did not just speak among them, but was there in the power of the Holy Spirit. I take it this means that they saw God work miracles through him (1:2-5). These people turned from evil to imitating Paul, that is to serving Christ in boldness and power and this is attested by all who witnessed it (1:7-10).

Those Jews of whom he speaks in 1:14-16 and says did “both” and then seems to name three things. The first two, killing Jesus and the prophets go together, the second item then is “and drove us out.”

Part of the key to praying without ceasing is to pray “both night and day” (3:10) as opposed to just morning or evening. I think it takes an attitude of dedication to God, and prayer to Him in the first place to nudge and remind us to be in prayer, and of knowing what to pray for or about. Not that He won’t add to the list as we start with the first item He brings to mind.

Sanctification in 4:3 refers to the growth in spiritual maturity that we need to constantly nurture in our Christian walk. Vessel in verse four refers either to ones body or possibly to ones wife. No matter how well you are doing, strive to do better (4:10-12). There is always room for improvement in our lives. Work hard and you’ll be an example to those outside the church (not to mention those within as well), and you won’t go hungry either.

The early church understood that Jesus was returning soon, but apparently misunderstood and thought that those who died before He returned would not go to be with Him in heaven (or at least some false teaching to that effect was making the rounds). Paul informs them (4:13-18) them that all who die in the Lord, no matter when, will go to be with Him and will receive a glorified body. Why is it that it is the little things that worry us? Why are we so quick to fight over the color of the carpet in the worship area and are not at all concerned when folks calling themselves Christians reject the virgin birth of Christ? Could it be in part a lack of knowledge of scriptural truths, an inattention to detail, and perhaps a focus on self and the present instead of on Christ and eternity?

We who love and serve Christ are not destined for wrath, but for salvation! (5:9). May He be praised!!

Do 5:12-13 say that we are to love and esteem our ministers and get along with our brothers and sisters in Christ? I think so. Read 5:14-22 carefully a couple of times. Paul gives us quite a few commands there. Admonish, encourage, be patient, leave revenge to God, rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, do not quench the Spirit, do not despise God’s word, examine everything carefully, hold fast to the good, abstain from every form of evil!

2 Thessalonians: This second letter is from the same three men as was the first (1:1). Did you notice Paul’s reference to the denomination of which I am a pastor? He mentions it at 1:4, “the churches of God!” “After all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you” (1:6). I agree! Those who oppose Jesus will suffer eternal destruction away from the presence of God (1:7-10).

Proverbs: Just as a north wind brings cold precipitation so too a backbiter brings strife. It is better to live in a small corner of a barn than with a contentious woman. Is this telling us to pick our spouse carefully, or not to be contentious? (Both?!) Do not seek your own glory.