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Friday, October 28, 2011

1 Thessalonians: chapter 5:1-11 (Part 7)

Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you,
for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, and they will not escape
But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.
You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.
For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.

Ok, so last post I was talking about Paul's mentioning of people being asleep to Christ. These verses are talking about being asleep to Christ as well. So don't fall asleep, but do awake. And paul will tell you more on being awake.

But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Both this chapter and the previous chapter of 1 Thessalonians  where talking about the coming of the lord. (The last more so than this one.)
Part 1
Part 8

Monday, October 24, 2011

1 Thessalonians chapter 4 (Part 6)

Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.
For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
It is God's will that you should be sanctified
that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable,
not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God;
and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.
and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.
Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.
And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more.
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you,
so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.
We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

Fallen asleep in him? Is this referring to death or to quenching the holy spirit? Possibly both. I have already read further in this, so it seems logic to assume that Paul was talking about death, but at the same time, since that is in a different verse, he could mean that if we are asleep in him (we have quenched the holy spirit, which means that we are not listening to God.) So, if we are asleep in him, then we might be out of Gods will. So back to the scripture (you'll see what I mean by he could be talking about death.)

According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

I know that now you are wondering why I put the previous text in because now it's obvious that Paul was talking about dead people. Well, that is because while it may be true that Paul is talking about the end days, other books in the bible talk about being dead to the spirit, but alive in Christ. 

After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
Therefore encourage each other with these words.

I know I'm stating the obvious, but Paul is always mentioning that the Thessalonians should encourage each other. And so we should encourage each other "encourage each other"
Part 1
Part 7

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thessalonians: Chapter 4: 9;11-12 (Part 5)

After I read the bible, I write about what I read in a notebook. As I look at the book, it says, "Words to remember: 1 Thessalonians 4:9;11-12"
 So I am going to start by writing that verse down.

Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

I want to point out why I noted that, It is because " you have been taught by God to love each other." You know how to love each other, you don't need any but God's help to love others because "those who fear the lord lack no good thing." (Psalm 34:10)
I am going to spend this whole post on these verses, so they must be important. You see, if I go in depth in these three simple verses a few verses come to mind, I already wrote down part of Psalm 34:10, but it goes like this:

The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

So the moral of this verse is you can do anything good. The moral of the first verse I wrote is almost the same, it says that you only need God's help to love each other because if God has the power to say it in his word, he's got the power to do it and trust me, if you ask God to help you not sin, he'll by all means say yes, but be careful, because Satan will discourage you from any good and pure goal you have. And no matter how hard it is "Those who fear the Lord lack no good thing." I wrote on the Psalm verse a while back, so if you can find that post, it will tell you more on that verse.
Part 1
Part 6

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thessalonians: Chapter 3 (Part 4)

So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens. We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God's fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. You know quite well that we were destined for them. In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know.

So, Paul is telling the Thessalonians that they will be persecuted (This is also a reminder to us that God sends us through trails.) And this is also a good time to point out that God uses trials to bring us closer to himself. If we are in sin (even if we're not) God will bring us trial and so those times are a good place to examine yourself.

For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless. But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. 

So here Paul is telling them that he longs to see them and he is also encouraging the Thessalonians. Paul must be making a point, he has spent three entire chapters encouraging the Thessalonians. He must think christians need encouragement and I agree with him. For now, let's get back to the scripture. 

Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. 
Part 1
Part 5

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thessalonians: Chapter 2 (Part 3)

You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure. We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition. For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts. You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed--God is our witness.

Paul starts the second chapter by simply telling the elders that his trip the Thessalonica was by no means a failure, he wanted to make sure they knew that just because there was a riot in the city, it doesn't mean that the work the elders were doing was useless, this first part is simply encouraging them.   
We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

So why is Paul writing this? I think he was reminding the leaders of the church how he acted and how they should treat other believers.

 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe. For you, brothers, became imitators of God's churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to all men in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last.
But, brothers, when we were torn away from you for a short time (in person, not in thought), out of our intense longing we made every effort to see you. For we wanted to come to you--certainly I, Paul, did, again and again--but Satan stopped us.

So why did Satan stop Paul? Why didn't God stop Satan? If you've been reading my posts for a while, then you'll remember my posts from Job, where Satan was asking for permission to harm Job. 
God let Satan stop Paul because he had a better plan for Paul that didn't include revisiting the Thessalonians.

For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.  
Part 1
Part 4

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thessalonians: Chapter 1 (Part 2)

Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.
We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.
We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you,
because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.
You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.
The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia--your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it,
for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,
and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead--Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

This is Paul's introduction to his letter, he wants to encourage the Thessalonians to continue fighting hard and being an example. This chapter speaks for itself, and I am starting to dig into both of these books.  
Part 1
Part 3

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thessalonians: Introduction

In my bible reading, I've been going through both books of Thessalonians, I started by reading Acts 17:1-9 (Where Paul visits Thessalonica  on his missions trip)

When they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.
As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ," he said.

If you've read through acts, you'll see the same pattern mentioned, Paul goes to Jewish people first. And why is that?
I don't for a fact why, but the Jews read the Torah (The first five books of the bible.) and they believe in God, just not in Jesus, they believe what the first five books say.
Now take what I just said and apply it to what Paul did, he simply started with the easier people and worked up to hard people. What I mean by this is it is easier to teach someone who believes half of what your saying than someone who totally disbelieves what your saying. 

Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.
But the Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason's house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.
But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting: "These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here,
and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar's decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus. 
When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil.
Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.

Paul isn't always welcome where he goes, but he got some followers who he rights a letter to, that I will start talking about next post.
Part 2

Friday, October 7, 2011

Job: Happily ever after

Then Job replied to the LORD:
"I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.
My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.
Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes."

After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.
So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has."
So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job's prayer.
After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.
All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought upon him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.
The LORD blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys.
And he also had seven sons and three daughters.
After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation.
And so he died, old and full of years.