Week 2: 1 Thessalonians 2:8

Friends, we are entering into our second week of “Meeting the Thessalonians”. Last week, I struggled to meet my own deadlines for things – so let’s see what this week brings. I am so excited to share this time of study with you all. We will be studying 1 Thessalonians 2:7-20 for this week. You can download the reading plan by clicking here.

Let’s jump right in and get at the heart of this week’s study.

Our Memory Verse –

We cared so much for you, and you became so dear to us, that we were willing to give our lives for you when we gave you God’s message (1 Thessalonians 2:8).

The heart of its message is – to see the compassion that these missionaries had for this community. While they were once unbelievers trapped in spiritual darkness, these men chose to genuinely cared for them.

They loved the people of Thessalonica and displayed the Gospel to them – through their words, but even greater through their lives.

The Compassion

In a time of social media and seeking after our own wills, this kind of compassion seems like a rarity. God has called us to love people in this way. Authentically caring for others, to such a degree where our hearts literally spill out and ache for them. This requires us to give ourselves in this faithful act of loving people and keeping in line with the second greatest commandment we have been given (see Mt. 22:37-40).

This sort of compassion is described as a “longing of love”. It is met with a resolve to give God their all, and it showed their commitment to Christ in the way they loved. Their heart ached to simply be with them, and to share themselves. They wanted to give themselves to the people.

Living It Out

Allowing this truth to be acted out in our lives, requires us to decide to love. We have to resolve to invest in the lives of others, because it won’t “just happen”. We have to be willing and seek after relationships and choose to love people Jesus’ way. This willingness can be described as “to be ready and choose to do so”.

How willing would we say that we are, as sons and daughters of God by the way of Jesus Christ, to share the Gospel and ourselves?

There are many in our lives who need to hear the Gospel of Jesus. They need to know Jesus on a personal level. Investing in others is something the missionaries were whole-heartedly ready to do. Their mission trip wasn’t for two weeks, followed by their homecoming. They were devoting themselves to investing in this community of believers. Perhaps, our lives are filled with a set of mission trips, through circumstances, that we did not sign up for. Allow God to use it all anyway, because the Gospel can be powerfully on display in that place.

Feature image by Ben White.