1 Thessalonians 1 (NLT)
1 Thessalonians 2 (NLT)
Some things I learned in my reading today...
- V. 2 states, "We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly." - I need to think of others more when I am praying. I should thank God for them and pray constantly for them and their struggles. Whenever I feel like I don't know what to pray about, I need to take the focus off myself and move it to others, because outside of my own little world is an abundance of things and people that need prayer.
- Part of v. 5 says, "And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you." - I need to show concern for others by the way I live with them... it's through my actions, not just empty words!
- Portions of v. 6-8: "In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord. As a result, you have become an example to all believers..." "...wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God." - When I imitate the Lord, I never know who I might be affecting. It may seem like no one is noticing if I am living by God's word, but in reality I could be speaking loudly through my actions to others. This is some major encouragement to stay in line with God's will, even if I don't think it's making a difference!
- Portions of v. 4 & 6: "Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts." "As for human praise, we have never sought it from you or anyone else." - This is something I need to remember always. I can't use other people as an excuse for disobeying God; I need to choose his will over all else.
- V. 8: "We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God's Good News but our own lives, too." - To truly show love to others, I need to share my life with them. It's hard to really love someone if you keep them at an arm's length and resist getting involved with them. To share my time and really get involved in the lives of others is a true testament of love. I feel blessed to have a very recent example in my life on this. It's something that I really need to work on, and I'm seeing a Godly woman live this out in her own life!
- Part of v. 12: "We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy." - I think it's important to urge others around you to live righteous lives (I also think it's one of the hardest things to do sometimes.. but that's another story), but this made me realize that we can't just crack down on them to change how they live. We need to encourage them in this! I can only imagine how much of a difference this one little step would make!