David opened up our time with a direct challenging question, ‘Do you want to be a people pleaser or a God pleaser?’ I think I would be pretty accurate as David was that we all want to be God pleasers but end up being the former.
The story so far; Paul had a vision from God, travels to Thessalonica, shares the gospel, people respond and a local church is established…but negative reaction from some people meant Paul was forced to leave. Paul sends Timothy to check up on them, Timothy returns with feedback, Paul then writes a letter of encouragement to the local church, this is 1st Thessalonians.
Paul uses the following terms of encouragement for the local church who are
- loved and chosen
- imitators of Christ
- a model of Christ
- active in their faith through turning from idols, serving the true God and waiting as instructed for Christ’s return
Do these words mirror who we (both individually and as Windsor) are in our faith?
Paul uses the second chapter of this letter to; defend himself, explain himself and address issues raised.
Even in the midst of having to leave Philippi and Thessalonica his visits were not in vain, it wasn’t wasted.
Who remembers the Kids song BE BOLD, BE STRONG, FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD IS WITH YOU? It’s great to have these truths available in a time of need. The fact of the matter is if we are to fulfill our calling in the Great Commission to go into the world and preach the gospel we can’t and would be foolish to think we can do this on our own (people pleasing). As David challenged us further, when was the last time we asked God for the courage to reach out to those who are in our sphere of influence daily.
Accusations were made against Paul that his message had error, had impure motives and was an attempt to deceive the people but the resounding response Paul had was
As a Christian there is no Plan B for how we live out our lives, The Gospel is ours, it has been entrusted to us and most importantly is ours to share (or not!)