Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thessalonians (2nd in a series): "Lessons From the Battlefield"

(notes from church if you trust my notetaking. From Dr Chris at FBC Ruston...)

1 Thess 2: 1-9

This passage offers principles from Paul for life's battlefields.

1. Your Work For Christ is Never in Vain

* Paul was aware that his work in Thessalonica was not in vain (v. 1), though his time there was only three weeks.

* Every prayer and deed is noticed in heaven and matters on Earth

* Working for Christ ALWAYS matters

2. Sharing Christ is Tough

* (v. 2) Paul faced strong abuse, violence, harm ... in Phillipi, Paul was beaten and jailed. Why is sharing Christ tough?

a. Because eternity is at stake: Satan fights for your soul too

b. You have to share your LIFE to be effective (v. 8-9) "We poured out our lives to you..." ... People who are soulwinners, on average, spend about an hour a day in personal prayer.

3. Play Ultimately to an Audience of One (v. 3-6) The word "please" in "please God" here means, in the Greek, to excite God. Live to please God (v. 4).

a. This is not a license to be weird or mean. Those are Pharisees, who don't live by the Scriptures but who say they live to please God and don't care what anything thinks at all; their standard line for their actions are "this is to please God," but their actions show that their hearts are not pure and their motives are selfish.

b. The key to failure is to try to please EVERYone.

Love God and People --- work to please Him.

Paul, who was IN THE BATTLE, can teach us a lot.