- Who the letter was from, and who the letter was to
- Paul's frequent blessing to them, of grace and peace
- Growing in faith and charity
- Our patience through suffering provides evidence of the justice of God punishing our enemies and rewarding us
- This fearful judgment of God is a good reason to accept the gospel
...we pray always for you...(v11)
The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek [after God]: God [is] not in all his thoughts.
How often do we think about the things of God? And, when we think about anything, is God really in it? If God is not in all of our thoughts, then we are like the wicked man.
I'll stay on task when I pray, so that my mind doesn't wander onto other thoughts.
Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.
You know, sin is not just bad things that we do. It is also sin when we do not do something that we should.
Here's an encouragement to simply do the things that we know we should do.
Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus;
I want to be the Lord's servant, like Titus, that I would bring messages to the Lord's people that would fill them with exceeding joy, even in the midst of all kinds of trouble.
When I'm getting ready to speak to the Lord's people, I'll consider how I can bring them a message of comfort.
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all [men].
This verse shows several special ways to edify various types of brethren, but it ends with one thing that applies for everybody:
...be patient toward all. (v14b)
I will be patient with all of my brethren, regardless of whether they are unruly, feeble-minded, weak, or anything else. Instead of responding the wrong way to them, I'll pray about the situation and trust the Lord to take care of it, so that I can rejoice anyway.
- Sometimes the Lord seems distant
- Wicked people are proud
- Wicked people have evil thoughts
- Wicked people have evil speech
- Wicked people operate in secret
- Wicked people think that they are safe from God
- Asking the Lord to move
- The Lord has seen and will help
- The Lord has heard and will judge
- Great boldness of speech
- Exceedingly joyful though troubled within and without
...godly sorrow works repentance...(v10)
- The apostles' comfort and joy was all bound up in the comfort, refreshment, obedience, and righteousness of other believers
- The difference between how the day of the Lord will come to those in darkness, and to the brethren
the children of the lightshould live together with Christ
- Keep up the good work
- Loving the laborers, our leaders
- How to follow what is good, toward ourselves and all people, with peace and patience
- He will make us entirely blameless!
- Prayer, greetings, reading, and grace
I will praise [thee], O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.
The first part of this verse says,
I will praise [thee], O LORD, with my whole heart.... We should look forward to worshiping the Lord in front of other people. We shouldn't just praise the Lord like it's a duty or a chore, but we should enjoy doing it, and do it with gladness.
That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation.
I'll ask the Lord for His help in my life, with the aim of praising Him for his deliverance.
As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and [yet] possessing all things.
The beginning of this verse says,
As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing.... When troubles arise in our lives and we are sad, then we should stand strong for the Lord. We should not give up.
Application Galatians 6:9
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
When I have failed to follow my schedule 100% of the way, then I won't give up on it. I will still do what I can, to get done the things that I should.
And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and [that] ye may have lack of nothing.
Let's be enthusiastic and diligent to do the things that are in front of us, to do. It is not in vain, there is a point to it. If we simply work diligently on the things that we have to do, then we are going to have everything that we need.
Even when my schedule has started to get off track, I'll keep doing what I can to keep my schedule, with new motivation.
- Praise from the heart
- Looking forward to the Lord's deliverance from enemies
- Contrast between the enemy's temporary destructiveness, and the Lord's eternal triumph
- Encouraging promises
- Prayer for mercy so that I can praise Him
- Here is an axiom: the wicked fall into their own trap
- Things won't keep going this way, forever
- What is man?
- There's the possibility, if we're not careful, that we could receive the grace of God in vain
- Now is the time for salvation
- Keeping the reputation of the ministry
- All the ways that we can prove ourselves to be ministers of God
- The apostles cared about the Lord's people, like their own children
- Don't even touch unrighteousness
- As we know to please the Lord, we should walk with Him, even much more
- We can know the will of God for our lives
- The Lord's will for our lives is purity
- The Lord's will for our lives is loving the people of Christ
- The Lord's will for our lives is working faithfully
- The comforting word of the Lord's return, and the resurrection of the believers
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Notice that it says,
without hypocrisy. If we're talking to other people about how they shouldn't be doing certain things, because they are sin, then we shouldn't also be participating in the same things, even "a little bit."
Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.
The end of this verse says,
neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure. As a matter of fact, the first thing that James 3 said about the wisdom from above, is:
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure... (James 3:17)
Be not ye therefore partakers with them.Ephesians 5:11
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
We shouldn't think our situation is something that we have gotten for ourselves by some greatness of our own. If the Lord made heaven, earth, space, and all of the creatures, and if He made all elementary materials and even our own lives, then we would have to be fools to think that we could be, have, or accomplish, anything, without Him.
I'll keep a humble perspective about my job.
Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Sometimes, we can be reminded of our past, and start to worry that we still have the problems that we have already confessed and repented of. It is an amazing encouragement that the Lord has completely transformed us, including healing the old sinful desires of our heart.
Application 1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
In this case, it says that He will
...cleanse us from all unrighteousness. I'll take comfort in the fact that the Lord has cleansed me from, the unrighteous motivations that I have repented from in the past.
For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;
We should look at reaching out to people, in Christ, as a great joy, not as a chore. We should greatly look forward to going out to people and helping them with their spiritual condition.
Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
I'll pick a couple of people that I'm going out to, to pray for their spiritual condition all the time.
- The excellence of the name of the Lord
- The miracle of babies declares the strength of the Lord
- We can't do anything without the Lord who made everything
- The dominion that people have, comes from the Lord
- Concluding the same way it started
- Comparing physical life and eternal life in heaven, to clothes
- Looking forward to being with Christ, so that we labor to be acceptable to Him all the time
Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men...(v12a)
- We should live, now, entirely to serve Christ
- We have been completely transformed and forgiven by Christ's death on the cross
- They were even willing to be without Timothy for a while, to send him to the Thessalonians
- We are appointed to suffer tribulation, and we should not let it get to us
- If we allow the tempter to tempt us, then past labor can become in vain
- Our distress is worth it, if we can lead others to walk in faith
- Our joy, desire, and prayer, should be to go out to others and help them in their faith
- Increasing and abounding in love can help establish our hearts unblameable in holiness
And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit?
We shouldn't just pray for things and not do anything about them. If there's obviously something that needs done in a situation, and we are able to do it, then our prayer should be accompanied by action.
This made me think of how, sometimes, we pray for the Lord to help us do the right thing (like getting up on time in the morning). But then, when it is time to make the decision whether to do the right thing, sometimes we don't even try very hard, (if at all), to do it. That does not make sense. If we are going to pray to ask the Lord for His help to do something, then we also need to put our heart into getting that thing done.
I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.
We should praise the Lord and sing praises to Him, like this.
I'll think of praise songs to sing, that mention the Lord's righteousness and how high He is.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory;
Let's take comfort in this: our momentary suffering for Christ is nothing compared to the awesome everlasting future that it brings.
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.
I'll live in the constant realization of the reality of the resurrection, so that I don't give up when living for Christ gets a little bit hard.
- Recognizing the need for the Lord's deliverance from the enemy
- Now he stood boldly before judgment, even while admitting that he had sinned
- Calling on the Lord to move, for the sake of His congregation
- The contrast between the judgment of the righteous and the judgement of the wicked
- The Lord will be a warrior against the wicked
- The wicked people will fall into their own trap
- Singing praises to the Lord
- Handling the Word of God faithfully and honestly
- The gospel is only hidden, if at all, to the lost, who have blinded minds
...we preach not ourselves...
- The shining light through Christ
Persecuted, but not forsaken;(v9a)
For all things for your sakes...(v15a)
...a far more exceeding, eternal weight of glory;(v17b)
- They knew how the disciples first came to them
- How they preached the gospel: with honesty and purity
- The good example of the affection of the Lord's people for each other
- Serious hard work and self-discipline, to take care of their own needs and to preach the gospel at the same time
- How to help people walk with the Lord
- Being willing to suffer for Christ
- We should have a real heart for people that we are trying to win to the Lord
For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
The disciples had some people, power, and popularity, at some points in the New Testament; they could have pursued politics, or sought to establish their own great civilizations, then, if they had thought that was what the Lord wanted them to do. We should not be taken up with imagining how we could build some great company or organization in this present physical world. We should pursue the eternal things of the Lord's heavenly kingdom.
The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.
We should have this same kind of confidence, that the Lord will answer our prayers.
When I pray, I'll also thank the Lord in advance, for what He is going to do.