HOW TO BECOME A PASSIONATE DISCIPLER
I THESSALONIANS 3
Why don't you take your Bibles and turn to I Thessalonians chapter 3.
Tonight I want to read to you the entire chapter. Honestly, there should not
have come a break. By the way, I don't know if you knew this but Paul did not
write in verses and chapters. None of the authors of the different books in the
Bible wrote that way. That came later on just for organizational purposes.
However, the flow of I Thessalonians chapter 3 fits right together with the end
of chapter 2 and that is very critical for us to understand. In fact, in
chapters 1, 2, and 3 you find real heart, we have talked about that over and
over again, that Paul had for the church. Though he was only there a couple of
weeks, he had a deep ministry with them and really cared about them. In fact,
you are going to hear that once again in chapter 3. I suppose if there was ever
an intimate letter to a body of believers this was one. I Thessalonians is a
beautiful letter to that church from the Apostle Paul. Allow me to read to you
just these few verses, verses 1-13, I Thessalonians chapter 3.
Paul goes on to say, "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. 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 ...
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