A request and a warning

Paul opens II Thes. ch. 3 with a request for prayer:

Pray that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored. Pray for deliverance and protection from evil and wicked men. These are good things to pray for and it is easy to understand why Paul would want prayer for such things, as should we.

In the second part of the chapter, Paul warns the Christians in Thessalonika about a certain kind of people. He warns them to stay away from these people and not become like these people.

Does anyone know who these people are? Why is Paul so adamant about keeping away from them?

What type of person would this be in our world today? How do you love these people and spread the message of Jesus to them?

Some thoughts to ponder for your Friday…

And pray today that the message of Jesus would spread rapidly through our church community in an honoring way, and that we would have protection and deliverance from the evil one.



In chapter 3, I love one of the prayers that Paul prays for this church. Here it is:
And may the Master pour on the love so it fills your lives and splashes over on everyone around you...
Don't you love that picture? This is going to become one of my prayers for McDowell Mountain Community Church. I am going to pray that God will pour His love on us so much that it will fill our lives and splash over on everyone around us. What do you think would happen in your home, in your neighborhood, in your school, in your business, in your _________(fill in the blank) if you had love splashing out on everyone around you? Many of us have anger and frustration splashing out onto everyone around us. Don't you want to be someone known more for your love than anything else?

Anything jump out at you from chapter 2 or 3?


1 Thessalonians Orienting Data

These are two short letters, but very important letters. There are some disagreements among scholars, but I believe that these were two of Paul's first letters. Paul wrote these letters to a church that he had started in Thessalonika. In the first letter, we will find a couple of reasons for him to write. The first is simply to encourage. Being a Christian in this day would have been extremely difficult. Early Christians were in the minority and suffered much persecution. The second reason had to do with Christ's second coming. Paul wanted these Christians well grounded in this important belief.

As you and I read, I pray that we are encouraged. Paul writes about the history of this young church. Maybe you and I will be reminded of our history, MMCC's history - and be encouraged by God's grace and direction in our lives. And, as we read later chapters, I pray that we will be encouraged about what will one day take place - Christ's return.

Chapter 1 is so appropriate to where we find ourselves. We will experience trouble in our lives together - and how we respond to that trouble will be a reflection of the hope and trust we have in God. Our outward behavior is a picture of what lives inside. I love how Eugene Peterson puts it in the Message:
We don’t even have to say anything anymore—you’re the message!

So, MMCC - be the message. Live the message. And I guess if we have to, we'll use words.