1 Thessalonians 3
1Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;
2And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:
3That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.
4For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.
5For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.
6But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you:
7Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:
8For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.
9For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;
10Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
11Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.
12And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
13To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
Today's Scripture Meaning:
The apostle sent Timothy to establish and comfort the Thessalonians (1-5) He rejoiced at the good tidings of their faith and love. (6-10) And for their increase in grace. (11-13)
Verses 1-5: The more we find pleasure in the ways of God, the more we shall desire to persevere therein. The apostle's design was to establish and comfort the Thessalonians as to the object of their faith, that Jesus Christ was the Saviour of the world; and as to the recompence of faith, which was more than enough to make up all their losses, and to reward all their labours. But he feared his labours would be in vain. If the devil cannot hinder ministers from labouring in the word and doctrine, he will, if possible, hinder the success of their labours. No one would willingly labour in vain. It is the will and purpose of God, that we enter into his kingdom through many afflictions. And the apostles, far from flattering people with the expectation of worldly prosperity in religion, told them plainly they must count upon trouble in the flesh. Herein they followed the example of their great Master, the Author of our faith. Christians were in danger, and they should be forewarned; they will thus be kept from being improved by any devices of the tempter.
Verses 6-10: Thankfulness to God is very imperfect in the present state; but one great end of the ministry of the word is to help faith forward. That which was the instrument to obtain faith, is also the means of increasing and confirming it, namely, the ordinances of God; and as faith cometh by hearing, so it is confirmed by hearing also.
Verses 11-13: Prayer is religious worship, and all religious worship is due unto God only. Prayer is to be offered to God as our Father. Prayer is not only to be offered in the name of Christ, but offered up to Christ himself, as our Lord and our Saviour. Let us acknowledge God in all our ways, and he will direct our paths. Mutual love is required of all Christians. And love is of God, and is fulfilling the gospel as well as the law. We need the Spirit's influences in order to our growth in grace; and the way to obtain them, is prayer. Holiness is required of all who would go to heaven; and we must act so that we do not contradict the profession we make of holiness. The Lord Jesus will certainly come in his glory; his saints will come with him. Then the excellence as well as the necessity of holiness will appear; and without this no hearts shall be established at that day, nor shall any avoid condemnation.
Today's Scripture Application
Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of 1st Thessalonians with Chapter 3 and in our text we see Paul encouraged by the good report of Timothy as this Church stood strong in the times of persecution as the body kept doing the will of the Father. In making application we see the Church will come under persecution again and the key is for the Body to stand strong in the Word and Spirit of the Lord as He will give us victory in the end. How about you? Will you stand when hard times come your way? Let us learn from our text today and the reminder of the Church in Thessalonica to stand strong in the Lord in times of persecution for the Lord will deliver us in the end.
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Dr. David Burnette
Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.