Winning the World Series: Who’s on First?
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 – Paul, Silvanus (Silas), and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.
2 We always thank God for all of you, remembering you in our prayers 3 and continually recalling before our God and Father your work of faith, your labor of love, and your enduring hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
4 Brothers who are beloved by God, we know that He has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power, in the Holy Spirit, and with great conviction—just as you know we lived among you for your sake.
6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord when you welcomed the message with the joy of the Holy Spirit, in spite of your great suffering.
7 As a result, you have become an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 For not only did the message of the Lord ring out from you to Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone out to every place, so that we have no need to say anything more.
9 For they themselves report what kind of welcome you gave us, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God 10 and to await His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead—Jesus our deliverer from the coming wrath.
PAUL PREACHED HEAVILY TO THE THESSALONIANS ON THE FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLE OF JESUS DELIVERING US FROM GOD’S WRATH ON THIS PLANET AND THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH
1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 – By the word of the Lord, we declare to you that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who have fallen asleep.
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise.
17 After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.
18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Chapter 2 presents a profile for effective ministry (both from the pulpit and in our daily lives): this is how you dig in when it comes to serving in the midst of a mess.
1 Thessalonians 2:1 (NKJV) – For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain (without results).
Three different markers of ministry: Successful Effective Fruitful
1 Thessalonians 2:2 (NKJV) – But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict.
PREACH THE GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL COURAGEOUSLY, EVEN IN THE FACE OF PERSECUTION, HARDSHIP & OPPOSITION
- DEALING WITH HATERS
- Partnering with God on discernment of Spirit, emotional intelligence
- LEARNING TO MAKE GOOD DECISIONS
- BEING ABLE TO DEFINE THE WIN IN THE MIDST OF THE MESS
1 Thessalonians 2:3 (KJV) – For our exhortation did not come from error or uncleanness, nor was it in deceit.
1 Thessalonians 2:3 (BSB) – For our appeal does not arise from deceit or ulterior motives or trickery. (Avoid impure motives and trickery)
1 Thessalonians 2:4 (KJV) – But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.
1 Thessalonians 2:4 (BSB) – Instead, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, not in order to please men but God, who examines our hearts
1 Thessalonians 2:4 (ICB) – But we speak the Good News because God tested us and trusted us to do it. When we speak, we are not trying to please men. But we are trying to please God, who tests our hearts.
Paul was saying something amazing. He’s saying, “Look, I’m not doing this because I want something out of you. I’m not doing this because I am trying to get you on my side or form a mob for me. I’m not doing this because any other agenda. I’m doing this because I am putting God first.”
PAUL WAS SOMEBODY WHO PUT GOD FIRST
IT IS VERY HARD EVEN FOR US AS CHRISTIANS TO PUT GOD FIRST BECAUSE IT IS NOT NATURAL.
THIS IS A LESSON WE LEARN AND IT IS THE LESSON THAT THE WILDERNESS TEACHES US.
THE LESSON OF THE WILDERNESS: PUT GOD FIRST AND WHEN YOU LEARN THAT LESSON, YOU MOVE INTO THE PROMISED LAND
This can be a frustrating process.
Who’s on first and what’s on second?
Who’s on first video. IT NEEDs TO SLOWLY FADE OUT ON 3:05 TO 3:10
There are so many things that clamor for our attention and devotion: our jobs, our kids, our spouses, our hobbies—the demands and distractions of life. And we have to be careful not to let them become more important, or more of a priority, than our relationship with God.
How to Establish the Habit of Living for God:
The key to having God’s “abundant life”—His love, peace and joy—is keeping Him in His rightful place in our priorities. God said to Abraham,
Genesis 17:1 (AMP) – Walk [habitually] before Me [with integrity, knowing that you are always in My presence], and be blameless and complete [in obedience to Me].
Notice that God instructed Abraham to be “habitual” in walking with Him and living for Him. We can do this by establishing daily habits of prayer, worship and regular, consistent time spent in His Word.
FAITHFUL GATHERING IN CHURCH AND WITH GODLY FRIENDS.
STRATEGIC ALLIANCES WITH GODLY CHRIST CENTERED PEOPLE.
BEING AWARE WHEN GOD IS INVADING YOUR MOMENT WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO MOVE THE NEEDLE FOR THE KINGDOM.
THERE IS A WISDOM TO FORM GODLY HABITS
Habits: Actions that are engrained; that have become natural because of continued repetition. They are the things we do without thinking but accomplish with skill and precision.
The first of the Ten Commandments states we will have no other gods before Him (see Exodus 20:3).
Exodus 20:3 – “You shall have no other gods before me.”
Matthew 6:24 – “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Matthew 22:37-38 – And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.
Psalms 90:11-12 – Who knows the power of Your anger? Your wrath matches the fear You are due. So teach us to number our days, that we may present a heart of wisdom.
The phrase “number our days” expresses the thought of putting in order, arranging the use of, or prioritizing time because the end of one’s life is fast approaching. Moses wanted us to remember that our remaining number of days grows smaller each day.
If you knew you had a year yet to live, how would that change your priorities?
If you knew you had 50 years yet to live, how would that change your priorities
He reminds us because we rarely make a conscious relationship between sin and our mortality. We are so busy living for the moment that we fail to see a connection between our conduct and our finite lifespan. Moses appeals for help that we might be wise and live by faith, as does Solomon in the book of Proverbs.
Proverbs 4:5-6 – Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will preserve you; love her, and she will guard you.