By Maddie Sweeny (Camp Emmaus Counselor (IL))
1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 “…encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God…”
In this section of Paul’s letter to the people of the Thessalonian church he just finished thanking and praising the people for their good faith and has moved on to reminiscing on how he discipled them. Paul talks about how he, Silas, and Timothy came to their village with only honest intentions and the purpose to share the Good News with love in their hearts. Paul and the others work side by side people of this church as equals without burdens. While working side by side, that is when they shared not only the God’s Good News but their own lives as well. Paul was willing to get personal with the people. Paul and the disciples nurture the people’s spiritual growth and show the people love like a parent while encouraging them to live a holy life. Paul’s description in this letter on how they earned the trust and built relationships with the people of the Thessalonian church is a good lesson on how we can build relationships and disciple within our community. Again, Paul emphasizes how he worked side by side with the people instead of using their authority as apostles of Christ to gain trust. Just being a good student or working everyday with others and being a good example of Christ can help encourage others around you to the path of Christ. Are you a good example of Christ in your everyday living? What are some things you can do to improve that if you feel that you are not? Do you ever feel discouraged when talking about your faith among your friends? Paul too had moments where he suffered and had opposition while trying to spread the Good News, but God will give courage to keep going. Overall, Paul shows us, with God in your heart, that providing love and being humble goes a long way, can help build strong connections, and provide the way to live a worthy life.
Good News: Sharing the good news of Jesus means spreading love
Discussion Question: Who in your community reminds you most of Paul in Thessalonica? What are somethings people have done or said to make you open to new ideas?
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