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God is quite clear about what He considers true religion.
James 1:26-27
Those in Christ are encouraged to talk to God about anything and everything, anytime. That's how to get peace in stressful times.
Philippians 4:6-7
"Come here! Stop working so hard. Take a break. Let Me refresh you. Hook up with Me. Learn how I work. Let Me do the heavy lifting."
Matthew 11:28-30
Evangelizing is vital, but don't forget to disciple!
1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:5
The two greatest commandments, Love God and Love Your Neighbor; yet the world despises God and opposes men.
1 Thessalonians 2:13-16
God knew His lost little lambs would need a special Shepherd. He sent His Son to guide and provide.
Psalm 23
If God has entrusted you with the Truth of His Gospel, then speak it boldly and live like you are His.
1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
As we await Jesus' return, we must work to serve God by serving others, sharing the Truth with confidence.
Serve God as You Wait for Jesus
When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight..Jeremiah 15:16 NIV
Psalms 1:1-3
Only our best will do for God....and those we minister to.
Titus 3:12-15
Those whose faith, no matter how small, is in God will find their faith tested so it can grow.
James 1:2-8
God cleans us up, gives us a new beginning, and sees us in our "Sunday best."
Titus 3:1-8
2 Chronicles 16:8-9
James 3:13-18
Romans 11:28-32
2 Timothy 3:14-17
2 Corinthians 8:1-2
Lamentations 3:31-33
2 Peter 1:3-4
Romans 2:12-16
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Standing Fast in the Lord
1 Thessalonians 3:6-13
Stand firm in your faith in hard times, encouraging one another.
Audio from the author
Published July 24th, 2016
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What stands out for me in this passage is how much Paul loves Gtod, Jesus and the church at Thessalonica. In spite of all the persecution he has faced, he has been worried about the fledgling much so that he haLed to send Timothy to check on them. And the joy he feels at Timothy's good report of their continued faith and love just pours out of him in these verses. In spite of the personal distress and affliction he is experiencing, he is comforted at Timothy's good news. Indeed he says that now he can go on living now that he knows that they are standing firm in their faith despite their own persecution. He still longs to see them face to face so that he can fill in any gaps in their faith. He does not want them to waiver at all. Paul had been concerned that all the persecution might have caused the church at Thessalonica to fall away, to walk away from the faith. He himself was under attack and being chased from city to city, so when Timothy brought him the news that the church was holding steady, this encouraged him and helped his faith. I know that my faith can encourage and sustain me when times are tough, but it's also encouraging to realize that my demonstrated faith in adverse circumstances can encourage another believer going through his/her own tough times. It was their faith in God and love for one another that was so refreshing and comforting for Paul. Persecution, attack, suffering, trials---these things are going to come. Believers, however, encourage and support one another through their faith and their love. Paul can take the floggings and the imprisonments as long as he knows they are "standing fast in the Lord." My hard times should draw me closer to God and to other believers!
1 Thessalonians 3:6-13
Paul is Comforted Through Their Faith
But now that Timothy has come
to us
from you,
and {he} has brought us the good news
of your faith
and love
and {he also} reported
that you (1) always remember us kindly
Content #1
and (2) long to see us,
Content #2
as we long to see you—
for this reason, brothers,
in all our distress and affliction
we have been comforted
about you
through your faith.
For now we live,
if you are standing fast
in the Lord.
Paul Prays to See Them
For what thanksgiving can we return
to God
for you,
for all the joy
that we feel
for your sake
before our God,
as we pray most earnestly
Comparison #1
night and day
that we may see you
Content #1
face to face
and {that we may} supply
Content #2
what is lacking
in your faith?
Now may our God and Father himself, and
{may} our Lord Jesus, direct our way
to you,
and may the Lord make you increase
and abound
in love
for one another
Reference #1
and for all,
Reference #2
as we do
for you,
Reference #3
so that he may establish your hearts blameless
in holiness
before our God
and Father,
at the coming
of our Lord Jesus
with all his saints.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.