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Showing posts from June, 2020

Followers

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1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 Paul and Silas were in Thessalonica for a short time before they were driven out by persecution. After making their way from Thessalonica to Corinth, Paul and Silas wrote a letter to the Church in Thessalonica to encourage them. The message starts with an expression of thankfulness for the testimony of the Thessalonian believers. Reports of the work of God that occurred in Thessalonica had spread wherever Paul and Silas traveled. The Apostle Paul makes special mention of the fact that the Thessalonians became imitators, or followers, of Paul and Silas. In 1 Thessalonians 1:6, he says, And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit... ( I Thessalonians 1:6 NKJV ) Paul was especially thankful for this evidence of the work of God in the lives of the Thessalonians.  We call the process of learning to walk as a Christian “discipleship.” Discipleship involves learning to imitate Christ.

The Beginning of Being a Christian

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1 Thessalonians 1 Thessalonica was the principal city of Macedonia; it was the capital and largest city of the Roman province. Acts 16:6-10 tells us how, when Paul purposed to go into Asia, the Holy Spirit stopped him. Having seen a vision of a man from Macedonia pleading for help, Paul traveled from Troas to Samothrace to Neapolis and then to Philippi. Paul and Silas began their ministry in Macedonia in the city of Philippi and enjoyed success. Because of their success, the Philippian officials put Paul and Silas in prison. God miraculously saved them from prison, converting the Philippian jailor and his family in the process. From Philippi, Paul and Silas traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, finally stopping in Thessalonica. Acts 17:1-9 gives the account of their short ministry in Thessalonica. Although their stay was short, they visited the synagogue and were persuasive enough to be joined by a great multitude of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading Jewish women.

Heaven and Earth

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Revelation 21:1-7 We have spent the last few weeks talking about “What Happens Next.” We have seen that Jesus, the Apostles and the Scriptures teach that there is life after death.  At some point in the future, we will receive new bodies and we will all stand before the Judge.  While Jesus walked among us, He showed us how the Father wants us to live. The Apostle Paul says, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” ( I Corinthians 11:1 NKJV ) These instructions to imitate Christ by following the example of Paul are one of several places that the Scriptures tell us to follow Jesus’ example.  Life is often likened to a journey. I want to present a different idea today. I want to show how life is like a mission. The Bible uses metaphors such as a farmer, a soldier and a race. Then in 2 Corinthians 5:20 it says: Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. ( II Corinthians 5:20 NKJV )