Today’s passage: 1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:5
- Ephesians 6:12 – For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
- Paul’s crowing achievement in life was not writing books of the Bible, it wasn’t being “famous” among the churches, it was the growth of the people to whom he ministered.
- Paul’s concern was that news of his (and other believers’) persecution would be used by our enemy to discourage the church. So, he sent Timothy to disciple and encourage them through the trial.
Questions to consider:
- How could a life of relative ease and lack of persecution tempt us to let our guard down and not pursue our relationship with Christ with the fervency He is due? How might our “quality of life” be an effective tool for our enemy, preventing us from serving the Lord and spreading the Gospel?
- Is it possible to have ministry without being in contact with people? How does this need for relationship help us to think about our hospitality and our time together?
- Was Paul seeking to prevent persecution or discouragement that resulted from persecution? Why is that such an important distinction? Why isn’t persecution “losing”?