1 Thessalonians 2:13-20
Last time Paul demonstrated how he loved the people of Thessalonica, and that he didn’t come to their town for selfish reasons. Paul lived out his love for others and was blameless, and just before them. He also urged each person to walk before others the same way.
What brings you joy?
13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews:
15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:
16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
17 But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.
18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.
19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
20 For ye are our glory and joy.
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Paul after defending his character and showing how he lived before the church at Thessalonica, now gives thanks to God for what God has done in the lives of these believers. Paul said that he gives thanks without ceasing. Why? Because the people received the Gospel that Paul preached to them. They received it not as from men, but as the word of God, as truth. He continues to say that God’s word continues to work in their lives. This is a very important point. Many people will preach man’s words and man’s wisdom, and man’s philosophy, but Paul makes it clear. The Thessalonians received God’s words, and not Paul’s. Paul simply preached what God had given him.
One reason Christians don’t serve or you don’t see a real change in their life is because they don’t see the scriptures as being words from God. They look at the Bible as a bunch of stories or suggestions. We should read the Bible and imagine God in the room speaking to us.
Paul continues to say that you as believers are now part of the church. The church which belongs to God. Being part of the church is wonderful, but he points out that you will suffer and have suffered as others have. These people suffered because of the persecution from other Thessalonians. Probably the same ones that ran Paul out of town. Paul then points out that his own people have persecuted the prophets, Jesus and them. These same people didn’t want Paul and others to speak to the Gentiles, people other than Jews, about the Gospel. But Paul continued to preach not only to Jews but to the Gentiles.
Paul then continues to say that they were not able to be with the people in Thessalonica. One because they were chased out of town, but also because Satan hindered them. Paul makes sure that the people know that he desires to be with them, and they will continue to try to see them again.
Paul ends up with telling these people that they bring Paul, Silas and Timothy great joy. There works of faith, their labor of love and their expectation of the Lord’s return brings Paul great joy. What brings you joy? What makes you rejoice? Paul, Timothy and Silas are investing their lives into other people. They are seeing people saved, and discipling them. They take great joy in others salvation and there service to the Lord. How about you, what brings you joy?
So tell me What Brings You Joy?