Posted by: The Simple Guy | March 27, 2015

How to make a difference: (1)

In church we are going through 1-2 Thessalonians. My next teaching assignment is chapter 2:1-16. I believe this section is about how Paul could be confident he was making a difference. It addresses his tactic, his approach, and his attitude. 

Paul was in Thessalonica for about a month. (See Acts 17:1-10). So I find this statement remarkable in 1 Thess 2:

1 Thessalonians 2:1 (ESV) 1 For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain.

He bases his statement on their own knowledge. (you yourselves know)

When he speaks of his “coming” that word is a special word that means an arrival and introduction that marks a turning point.  Such as Columbus coming to America, or Alexander the Great coming to Persia, or Jesus coming to earth. 

So Paul states that they themselves know that his arrival in there town was for a purpose and that this purpose was accomplished.  

Let’s look for clues into how he could be assured of his effectiveness. 

1 Thessalonians 2:2 (ESV) 2 But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict.

Paul had already decided to be on the side of the Gospel regardless of circumstance. Persecution did not change his determination to speak God’s truth.

1 Thessalonians 2:3 (ESV) 3 For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive,

The word “appeal” is the same word for comfort in 2 Cor 1 and similar to the word Jesus used for the Comforter in the upper room.  It is to call alongside for the purpose of rescue.  This was not a shouted instruction or a finger to the chest but an invitation to come along.  The attitude was “let’s do this together”

Their appeal was not from error (or wandering and off point), was not impure (not polluted by sin), and not deceptive.  In other words, he stayed focused on what was important, had integrity so his life did not cancel out his message, and he was not a schemer for his own benefit.  

As I study through 1 Thess 2 there will be more observations.  But this is a good start in having an impact on the world around us. 

Before we can have an impact we need to choose which side we are on and then be “all in”. We need to major in majors while minoring on minors. We need to guard our trustworthiness so we don’t compromise the message. We need to be true. 

Your thoughts?

The Simple Guy

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