David continued our Living In-Between series from 1 Thessalonians by looking at chapter 3:1-13. Paul had been prevented from visiting the Thessalonians, so he decided to send Timothy. This was a sacrifice for Paul, who was then left alone in Athens. From verses 2-5 we saw three reasons why Paul had felt the need to send Timothy:
First, he wanted to strengthen and encourage the Thessalonians in their faith:
Second, he knew they were going through inevitable trials as Christians:
Third, he wanted to see if their faith was withstanding the attacks from the tempter:
The resulting report in verses 6-11 is positive. Paul is encouraged, he rejoices that they are standing firm in the Lord. He is then moved to pray for the Thessalonians. His prayer in verses 11-13 shows his desire is still to visit them himself to strengthen their hearts in the faith. It is also, as David highlighted, a prayer for their love.
David applied this thoroughly to the church in Windsor. This really was a message with a challenge for everyone!
- Do we need someone this week to strengthen and encourage us in our faith? Do we need someone to help us through tough times? Do we need someone to check that our faith is strong in the face of attacks from the tempter? If so, then don’t endure alone, reach out! We are walking together as a church family and we can help one another.
- What would the report be if Timothy visited Windsor this week? Do we as a church encourage one another? Are we known as a loving church? Do we need to pray verse 12 this week, seeking God’s help in this area?
- If we have been encouraged spiritually by someone in the church, then let them know by saying Thank-you!