King James Bible Study – “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Mark 8:34
Date: Thursday, November 28, 2019
Chapters: Books of I & II Thessalonians
Message: Giving God Thanks For Affliction
Hello My Friend,
Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans, those becoming Americans, and those who sojourn here. I am having a hard time staying focused, and am extremely late getting started with this. And it all started with a cheesecake that wanted to fall apart on me when I attempted to remove it from the pan before spending time with God this morning. I am extremely concerned for our country, as it seems to have forgotten what is actually called the National Day of Thanksgiving and Praise, is all about. Instead of a day of giving thanks to God for all we are blessed with, it is a day of greed for the ungodly as hundreds of people are required to leave family and friends to work in retail shops, and even more shopping in them. Abraham Lincoln said in his proclamation to the National Day of Thanksgiving and Praise in regards to God’s blessings, “They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.” Let me tell you, the Church is just as responsible for the fall of our nation, it has also forgotten to be thankful for the mercies of God, it has succumbed to the same greed of the ungodly, the almighty dollar. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” – I Thessalonians 5:15-18.
The Book of I Thessalonians was written by Paul, and it was presented to them with Silas and Timothy, from Corinth, AD 54, shortly after Paul’s departure from Thessalonica. The purpose of the letter is threefold: To confirm young disciples in the foundational truths already taught them, to exhort them to go on to holiness, and to comfort them concerning those who had fallen asleep (died). The second coming of Christ is prominent throughout. What we are to learn from the book is that the second coming of Christ is coming sooner than we think, and the hope of his return is the inspiration, and comfort of the true saved, born again Christian.
“Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.” – I Thessalonians 1:1-7.
“So that ye were ensamples to all that believe” We are not called to be a reflection of Christ through affliction for our own sake’s, rather for the sake of those who are watching us. Yes, whether they are saved or not they are watching us. You see, the majority of the unsaved are just as lost as we were, they are seeking hope and comfort in the things if the world, and not finding it. That is where we come in, our faith and obedience, especially when afflicted, it gives believers of God hope in Christ, and the only one who can turn things around for us. And it also gives those who are saved, weak in their faith to find that newfound hope they need. As Paul continues his letter, he reminds them that it was their faith in God through the affliction that helped them.
“For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain. But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you: Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord. For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;” – I Thessalonians 3:4-9.
“we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:” Do you see how our faith through affliction helps others who are being afflicted? I got the chance to minister to someone this week, and let me tell you how good it felt. It was not about me, I was not looking to get anything out of it, I was not even expecting recognition or a positive response. I just did what God asked me to, and I did not sugarcoat things, but offered a biblical perspective on what they were going through. And this is exactly what people need, both saved and unsaved. Paul, ensures us that brotherly love is what gets God’s attention, and we will never lack when giving it.
“But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; 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. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” – I Thessalonians 4:9-14.
“and that ye may have lack of nothing.” Let me tell you how God blesses you, even financially when you think of others first. As someone who lives day by day their daily bread, and every cent I make is pretty much accounted for, when something sudden comes up that does not leave much room for anything else. Well, God gave me not only one blessing, but two, in one day, He allowed me to get out of this common core, godless school that I had been having such a hard time committing to, and I got a surprise refund for tuition too. I used that money for Thanksgiving dinner and to buy a birthday gift for a nephew. Praise God! We never lack when we put God first. And I need to be careful as to not mess by taking Him out of the loop of everything I do. “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” – I Thessalonians 5:9-11.
II Thessalonian was written very shortly after Paul’s first letter, the reason being is that there was some confusion at the second coming of Christ. They believed that they affliction they were going through was a sign that Jesus was returning during that time. The purpose for the letter was to teach them that affliction brings them closer to Christ not necessarily His coming. What we are to learn from it is that the Christian is to wait, watch, and work for the coming of Christ, who will be glorified in His saints at His return. The Thessalonian converts were “shaken in mind” and “troubled,” supposing, perhaps that they received a forged letter from Paul, that the persecutions from which they were suffering were those of the “great and terrible day of the Lord,” from which they had been taught to expect deliverance. Paul begins his letter by ensuring them that they will know when Christ will return, and He will get vengeance on all who trouble His saints.
“Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” – II Thessalonians 1:6-10.
“(because our testimony among you was believed)” Do you see how our faith in Christ is to go beyond just believing in what He has done to save us. We need to accept that He died for us, and receive Him ourselves (Romans 10:9-10). There is a reason why we are to live a Godly life after we are saved, it is not to keep our salvation, and it is not to appear that we are better then them (because we are not), it is to show the world who Jesus really is. It is God’s grace that keeps us from getting what we really deserve when we sin. I mean, when we truly stop to think about all the things we have done over the years and how God protected us, yes, even some of the stupid mistakes, we can truly see how merciful God is. “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;” – Psalms 103:2-4.
Today’s Prayer: God, I admit that I am not thrilled with affliction, it seems as though the second I get over one problem another arises. I will not always understand this, but I do understand that You are with me, growing me, and strengthening my faith and trust in You through every trial, every tear, and every fear. Thank You, Lord, for everything You do for me, I know nothing I go through is in vain and has a purpose. Lead me and guide me, give me the strength only You can give me to stand firm in my faith, and not be drawn away from You by anything the devil can tempt me with. I love You Lord and pray this in Your name, Jesus. Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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