QT – I Thessalonians 1

Composed early in Paul’s ministry around 51 A.D., Thessalonica would be the second place that Paul would preach in Europe.  Paul would be forced to leave Thessalonica because of oppostion from some of the Jews living there.  The recently converted for Christ were left with little support and growing persecution.  So, Paul would write to encourage new young Christians in their trials.  They had come out of pagan religions and so Paul focused on instruction to Godly living.  He also wanted to assure them about the future of those in Christ even though they may die before Jesus returns.  Paul really wanted to remind them that Jesus would come again!  Paul would mention this fact in each of the chapters.
Vs. 7, “And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.”  Though these Thessalonians were young, they were able to become a model for many!  They lived examples not only at church…but through labor, work & patience (vs. 3).  They would not allow persecution and suffering to hinder them in their passion for Christ.  Another timely reminder for the Youth Group just getting back from our retreat!  Some believers are such poor examples as Christians that their lives give unbelievers an excuse (thought not valid) for rejecting Christ.  But the Thessalonian Christians made it easy for Paul to preach the gospel!  Their testimony had gone before him and met him wherever he went!

Regarding application…God Chose You.  Vs. 4, “For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you.”  Wow…isn’t it crazy to think that we were chosen?  We could get into the debate between “Free Will” and “Pre-destination”…but I don’t think this is really necessary.  Somehow…someway…in ways unknown to us…God has been able to reconcile those two.  And, here we are with this fact: God chose you.  Yes, in many ways…you chose Him too.  But in a bigger way…God chose you.  Throughout life we are chosen.  You wait to see who will choose you as your friend in high school.  You wait to see who will choose you to go to prom.  You wait to see who will choose you to go to their college.  You wait to see who will choose you to be your spouse.  You wait who will choose you to hire you.  We are constantly held in “wait” as we wonder if we will be chosen for the next phase in our life.  But God does not choose based on the Darwin thought that only the strong survive.  God chooses on a completely different playing field.  One of life’s bigger mysteries will be asking yourself…”Why did God choose me?”  And if you haven’t asked yourself that question…start asking it now!!!  Why did God choose YOU?  Chew on that topic for a bit.  Think about it.  Now then….one last question: What are you going to do about it?