I Thessalonians daily devotional thought -  written by Trevor Williams

I Thessalonians 1

We continually remember v3

Life has a habit of going around in circles, as each new generation starts so another passes away.  Family stories may grow but usually quickly diminish.  Memories become short as other events crowd into life.  Such was the situation in Thessalonica that Paul could not stop remembering them and he now tells of three ways that stand out. 

Firstly their work produced by faith.  How the letter of James backs this up.  So many of us are tired of going to work.  At the end of the day there is only one real reason to work and that is to be paid.  But here these dedicated people had faith as their foundation and their works came naturally from that.  All good deeds are improved by looking first of all to Jesus.

Secondly their labour was prompted by love.  Sometimes relationships can become dry or stale and we realise there is not too much love going into it.  But when we really love we will refresh those relationships; sometimes it may well even take some effort on our behalf.  It is an old adage that we only get out of a relationship what we put into it.  Christian labour is often diverse in its ministry.  To give does not always mean that we will get.  This labour of love for others is quiet, anonymous, for the benefit of the receiver rather than the giver.  It is hard to do but none the less worthy that our labour is offered in the name of Jesus and needs no commendation

The church was also remembered for its endurance inspired by hopes in Jesus.  Many give their whole life to the cause of Christ.  It is a full time job and when anyone becomes a Christian then they too must realise it is for the rest of their lives.  There is no such thing as a part time Christian, nor one who has holidays away from their Lord.  Endurance needs stamina and determination, greater than any athlete in training. Being tired, broken, spoken against may all be part of our walk with the crucified and risen Saviour.  That is why our hope is in Jesus.  If it is in us then we will fail because we know we like to back off.  Jesus went to the cross and conquered it, therefore we have hope which brings out our endurance.  Thank you Jesus, we remember you.


I Thessalonians 2

…as a father deals with his own  v11

It is to be hoped that when a man holds his new born babies he is thrilled to the core of his being.  Some men are good with babies, some are better when the children grow a little but all should enjoy every day.  Then it can come as quite a shock to realise that your children have grown up and have children of their own.  One of the thrills for the grandparent is to see and hear their children correct their children in the ways that they always insisted they never would.  It can be quite a shock for a man to realise he has turned into his father.  It is one of those times when Granddads can smile and justifiably say ‘I told you so.’  That is if the family is a happy one and content to share together.  Unfortunately this is not always so.

Sadly we live in a society when Dad is not always around.  I always thought the saddest situation would be when a Dad dies and the child is left fatherless.  Though the situation is heart-breaking at least the child knows what happened.  How many Dads have nothing to do with their children?  Some men run away when responsibility proves too much.  Some men think more of themselves than of their children.  Being a biological father does not take that much effort, being a real Dad is a lifelong enterprise, developing, changing, always being a rock.  Learning to say sorry when wrong and always being the person he needs to be even when increasing age and disability come along.

The Apostle loved his church family so much that it went beyond friendship and became familyship.  There should be no acquaintances in the church assembly, only family.  The ideal church should be filled with granddads and grandmas, uncles and aunties, nephews and nieces in the faith.  It should be a place where all know they are loved even when they have made a mistake.  May we deal with each other tenderly.  The older father in faith should be loving and forgiving never forgetting that he was young once upon a time, even if it was a long time ago.


I Thessalonians 3

….has brought good news.  V6

When we read this letter of love to the church in Thessalonica we can feel the strains of emotion in the heart of the Apostle.  He feels that he is both father and mother to this young church and did not want their new faith flustered in any way, yet it had been.  There had been trouble with persecution, and distress has to be the obvious effect, but it was not the final result.  Timothy was able to pass on the good news of their faith and love; joint signs of victory for Jesus and a job well done by Paul.

Newspapers and broadcasts seem to thrive on bad news, it causes sensations and heartache.  No one can bare the distress of murders or political failures of international discord.  There is only so much we can carry on our shoulders, life is hard enough as it is with trying to keep our homes and relationships and work in some sort of an order that we can get through from one week to the next.  Then, perhaps for the Christian there is another burden, living the spiritual life in an earthly place, we try so hard and fail so often.  Sometimes we try harder only to fall harder.  No sooner than we feel we have reached some sort of spiritual level it seems we are back to the beginning and it seems easier to just give up.  The sad thing is, many do.  It is then we have to realise that when we leave Jesus alone, salvation is rejected, the cross trodden under our feet.  Should we get to that breaking point then we need to let our tears flow again and return to our first love, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Good news is far more enjoyable than bad.  In an age of mass communication the Christian needs to be telling their friends what good things God is doing for us.  When one person is down the other lifts up.  How many emails or social networks are we on to encourage others?  As time goes by they will multiply.  Bad news travels fast but good news encourages the soul.  May we use every method available to us to tell the good news of free salvation.  God demonstrated this by giving himself.  How will we do it?


I Thessalonians 4

Your ambition v11

This chapter is pushing the Christian on into ever increasing concern for their way of life.  Care in sexual morality is paramount, so we will be different to the non-Christian.  We are to love the people of God more and more.  Then we are to be constantly ready for the noisy and dramatic return of the Lord Jesus.  With all this going on we are then encouraged to be ambitious and lead a quiet life.  It almost seems too much.  On one hand we are pushing and on the other hand we are pulling back.

Verses 11 and 12 suggest 5 points.  The first 3 are active;

1.    Lead a quiet life

2.    Mind you own business

3.    Work with your hands

The nature of some is to be quiet and plod on gently through life.  We are not all the same and to be as peaceable as is suggested here would be an impossibility.  What is suggested seems bland colourless and tasteless.  God never wants to dampen enthusiasm but neither does he encourage the senses to so dominate that they become of no use.  Talk is good when it builds up but it can also destroy with unkindness.  Work is vital for a living but destructive when it takes away our personality.

The results of the first 3 directives are seen in verse 12 and should be aimed for, these are the last two points;

1.    Win the respect of out siders

2.    Do not be dependent on anyone.

 The servant of God is like an advertisement for God.  Follow God and be like me the advert says.  But do we want other to be like us.   Oh no we all say.  This does not alter the fact that we are the gospel that is read and seen by all around us.  Every word we say is a gospel message.  The way we look at others, the way we keep our home, the way we dress and even the way we smell tells other people what we are and what we believe.

May we make it our ambition to capture every emotion and use it for good and make use of every ability to make it of value for God.


I Thessalonians 5

Times and dates v1

Can you exist without your diary?  Most cannot or should not because they are busy and need to keep appointments.  How many businesses fail for not keeping, time schedules?  How many customers are frustrated when an appointment is broken.  When national economies become tightened every hour of work is important since it could affect our salary.  We all want to know how much we are worth and what is the bottom line for our efforts in life.

Somehow or other God does not work on the same principles as ourselves.  There are somethings that we shall never know about and many things better that we know little about.

If our memory serves us well we will remember the day in the calendar when we gave our life to Jesus.  That same calendar reminds us when our special days are; birthday, anniversary, holidays.  Looking at the 365 days will never tell us on what day the Lord will return or the day that we leave this world.  No one really wants to know even the year let alone the date.

Our text does tell us that we need to be ready for those great final journeys.  Jesus returns or we go to him, it does not matter, neither does it matter when our journey on earth finishes.  We do need to remember that it has started and to be ready every day for another step closer.  It is hard to remain alert waiting for Jesus and much easier to be spiritual sleepy heads.  We can do nothing to avert either journey date but we still need to be ready.  We have a new home made ready by Jesus, the design does not matter but the designer does.  Let us all make sure to be constantly ready for Jesus whatever the time or the date.


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