SERMON SEEDS FOR WEEK OF 1/25/21
January 26, 2021, 5:14 PM

SERMON SEEDS

BIBLE OUTLINES FOR PASTORS, TEACHERS AND STUDENTS

T4 – FOR WEEK OF 1/25/21

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JOHN 8:1-11 – MEET MERCY IN ACTION

MEETING JESUS IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN #15      

“A federal pardon in the United States is the action of the President of the United States that completely sets aside the punishment for a federal crime. The authority to take such action is granted to the president by Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_pardons_in_the_United_States#:~:text=A%20federal%20pardon%20in%20the,1%20of%20the%20U.S.%20Constitution.

In his four-year term as President of the United States Donald Trump used the “Presidential Pardon” 237 times, which was one of the lowest on record. The Presidential Pardon has been around since George Washington who used it 16 times. Since 1900 the lowest number of pardons issued was George H.W. Bush who used it 77 times. The highest number of pardons was over 200,000 issued by Jimmy Carter who pardoned all those who were guilty of draft evasion. Take out that number and the highest number of pardons issued was 3,687 by FDR.

The most famous pardon of all was done by Gerald Ford when he pardoned President Nixon.

On September 8, 1974, Ford issued Proclamation 4311, which gave Nixon a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes he might have committed against the United States while president.[68][69][70] In a televised broadcast to the nation, Ford explained that he felt the pardon was in the best interests of the country, and that the Nixon family's situation "is a tragedy in which we all have played a part. It could go on and on and on, or someone must write the end to it. I have concluded that only I can do that, and if I can, I must." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Ford#Pardon_of_Nixon

The giving of a pardon is a demonstration of mercy. No one has shown more mercy than our Lord Jesus Christ. In fact it is only because of His mercy that anyone has forgiveness and eternal life.

As we are meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John, we come to a story which allows us to MEET MERCY IN ACTION. You might have a note of some kind in your Bible that tells you that this text was probably added to John’s story at a later date. That might be true, but the story itself was around in Christian circles since the first century and is considered valid. There is nothing in this story that contradicts anything else in the Bible and teaches us some important lessons about the mercy of Jesus who is God the Son.

MERCIFUL INSTRUCTION – John 7:53-8:2

  • Here, the story is in conjunction with the “Feast of Tabernacles” or “booths”.
  • Jesus came to us from Heaven and taught those of his day and all of us in our day.

Luke 21:37-38, Mark 13:31, 2 Timothy 3:16-17,

  • Some of Jesus’ more noted sermons are the Sermon of the Mount, the Olivet Discourse, and the Upper Room Discourse.
  • God showed us mercy when He sent His Son to teach us.
  • Jesus showed us mercy by coming and teaching us and sent the Holy Spirit to instruct us today. John 16:12-14
  • Did you ever consider that the Word of God is a show of God’s mercy? Although we don’t deserve it, God showed mercy in giving His Teaching to us.
  • Shame on us, if we, as believers neglect to learn and love this Book on a daily basis. Psalm 1:1-3

MERCIFUL INTERACTION – John 8:3-9

  • Vs. 3 – A woman caught in the act of adultery is brought to Jesus. Jesus was not a judge. He was not a member of the ruling body, the Sanhedrin.  Why Jesus?
  • Vs. 6 – They were not concerned with the woman’s sin. They were trying to discredit Jesus. They figured that they had Jesus in a spot he could not get out of.
  • If he said, “stone her”, his reputation of being kind and merciful went out the window.
  • If he said, “spare her”, he would been accused of violating the Old Testament Law.
  • Vs. 4 – The laws concerning being convicted of adultery and killed were almost impossible to enforce. Two witnesses had to see them in the very act.
  • It seems that the woman, probably a teen-ager, was set up with witnesses ready to pounce on her and accuse her, just so they could get at Jesus.
  • Vs. 5 - The woman was guilty, The Pharisees were showing her no mercy, and the obvious question is, “Where was the guilty man? Why wasn’t he there too being accused? Now they want Jesus to give an answer.
  • Vs. 6 – Remember, Jesus is God. Jesus knew that in a short time, He would commit the ultimate act of mercy. He would die for the sins of the World, so we can receive mercy.
  • So what does Jesus do? He writes in the sand, seemingly ignoring them.
  • Vs. 7 – What was Jesus doing? He was letting them talk, intensify the accusations, saying more and actually digging themselves into a hole.
  • Finally, he looked up and said “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” I personally think he meant the sin of adultery.
  • Vs. 8 – He went back to writing and let them stew.
  • Vs. 9 – All the accusers left, being convicted.
  • Jesus’ merciful interaction spared the woman from stoning.

MERCIFUL INTERVENTION – John 8:10-11

  • Vs. 10 – No one condemned the woman, although she was guilty. The only one left was Jesus. He could have condemned her. He was sinless.
  • Vs. 11 – Jesus issues a pardon “Neither do I condemn you.” This statement was made based on what Jesus would do on the cross. 2 Corinthians 5:21, John 3:16-18
  • Pardon through salvation is available to us.
  • Pardon for sins committed after being saved is also available. 1 John 1:9
  • Notice Jesus final line, “Go and sin no more.” A pardoned person is to live differently.                      2 Corinthians 5:17
  • Do you need mercy this morning?
  • Do you need to show mercy this morning?

 

TO LISTEN TO THIS SERMON PREACHED BY PASTOR JACK PETERS CLICK BELOW

https://www.fbcnhremembers.com/meet_mercy_in_action

 

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1 SAMUEL, SELECTED PASSAGES – LONG LIVE THE KING?

David: A Man’s Man, God’s Man - Lesson #4

A Complete Lesson

  • When is it most difficult to accept the leadership of a political figure like a president, governor, or mayor?
  • When is it most difficult to accept the leadership of a boss, foreman, or teacher?
  • When it is it most difficult to accept the leadership of a pastor, elder, deacon or parent?

· "Long live the king!" - a common and familiar blessing for a ruling monarch.

     "Long live the king!" - words wishing someone in  

     authority a long and happy reign.

     "Long live the king!" - easy words to say when the   

     king is good, and loving, and kind!

· "Long live the king!" - But what if the king is a tyrant? What if the king has a personal hatred for me? What if the king seems to have a personal vendetta against me? I might start to question and say, "Long live the king?"

· David was in that position.  He had killed a giant, done the king’s bidding, behaved himself wisely, became the king’s son in-law, and still gained the disfavor of the king, persecuted in several ways.

· You and I will sometimes find ourselves in that position with someone who is in authority over us. No matter how much good we do we are belittled or persecuted.

· David teaches us how to handle ourselves when we are in a position that makes us want to say, “Long live the king?”

DAVID REGROUPED WHEN HE HAD TO

  • 1 Samuel 18:5-9 – Why was Saul paranoid about David?
  • Why do leaders get paranoid about those under them?
  • 1 Samuel 18:10-12 and 1 Samuel 19:8-11 – David was suddenly attacked.  What are some of the ways leaders start throwing “javelins”?
  • David dodged, ducked and darted when he had to. He regrouped.  How can we regroup when we receive unfair attacks?
  • What part should prayer have when we are unfairly attacked?

Matthew 5:44-45 - But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; [45] That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

  • 1 Samuel 20:1 – What lessons does David teach us about unfair attacks from leaders?

DAVID RETREATED (RAN) WHEN HAD TO

  • 1 Samuel 20 – Although David regrouped as much as he could, it soon became evident that in this case a different solution was needed.  He needed to retreat or lose his life.
  • When will we know that it is time to run from a situation?
  • Why should running be a last resort and not a first defense?
  • 1 Samuel 21:1 – David left by himself.  What does that teach us about leaving a situation?

DAVID DIDN’T RETALIATE WHEN HE COULD HAVE

  • Who would have won a “one on one” fight between David and Saul?  Why did such a fight never happen?
  • 1 Samuel 24 tells of a time when David could have retaliated?  What brief blessing did David receive in verses 18-22?
  • Again in 1 Samuel 26 David had an opportunity to retaliate.  What do verses 7-11 teach us about the advice of our friends?
  • What are some common ways that we might retaliate against those who have hurt us?
  • Comment on the verses below.

Romans 12:19-21 - Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. [20] Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. [21] Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

  • In what ways is Jesus a good role model for us when we are attacked by superiors?

DAVID RESPECTED THE KING’S AUTHORITY

  • David had already been anointed king.  Why did he wait to establish his kingdom until after the death of Saul?
  • Comment on these verses:

Psalm 75:6-7 - For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. [7] But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

  • Even when David briefly joined the enemy forces in

     1 Samuel 27 and 29 he did nothing to harm Saul.

  • In what ways can we remain loyal to someone in authority even if we have to run from their administration?

DAVID REMAINED LOYAL

  • Saul’s death is recorded in 1 Samuel 30.
  • According to 2 Samuel 1:11-27, how do we tell that David forgave Saul?
  • What happens when people fail to forgive others?

Hebrews 12:15 - Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

  • Who is to be our role model for forgiving others? Why?

Ephesians 4:31-32 - Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: [32] And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

  • In retrospect, what helped David behave so well under duress?
  • What will help us behave well under duress?

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PSALM 37:4 – THE DESIRES OF MY HEART

NOTE: This is outline will be difficult to preach in one sermon and may be good as a Bible Study, Sunday School Lesson, or series of sermons. Feel free to copy this and share.

Psalm 37:4 - Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

When we delight ourselves in The Lord we will desire what the Lord desires. When we desire what The Lord desires and act accordingly, he will give us the desires of our heart.

 

  1. If we delight in The Lord’s Salvation, we will desire others to be saved. The Lord will give us the desire of our hearts. Ephesians 2:8-9, 2 Peter 3:9, Isaiah 55:10-11, Psalm 126:5-6

 

  1. If we delight in The Lord’s Righteousness and Holiness, we will desire to be righteous and holy. The Lord will give us the desire of our hearts. Romans 6:8-14, 1 Peter 1:13-16

 

  1. If we delight in The Lord’s Presence, we will desire to abide in Him. The Lord will give us the desire of our hearts. John 15:4-7

 

  1. If we delight in The Lord’s Love, we will desire to love Him and others in return. The Lord will give us the desire of our hearts. Matthew 22:37-40, John 13:34-35, 14:15, Galatians 5:22

 

  1. If we delight in The Lord’s Power, we desire the Lord to control us. The Lord will give us the desire of our Hearts. Philippians 4:13, Ephesians 5:18-21, Galatians 5:16, 22-26

 

  1. If we delight in The Lord’s Forgiveness, we desire to be forgiven and to forgive. The Lord will us the desire of our hearts. 1 John 1:9, Matthew 5:23-24, Matthew 6:12, 15-16,  

 

  1. If we delight in The Lord’s Peace, we will desire it. The Lord will give us the desire of our hearts. Romans 5:1, Isaiah 26:3-4, John 14:27, Philippians 4:6-7, Colossians 3:15

 

  1. If we delight in The Lord’s People, we will desire to spend time with them, and encourage them. The Lord will give us the desire of our hearts. Hebrews 10:24-25, Acts 2:46-47

 

  1. If we delight in The Lord’s Approval, we will desire to please Him. The Lord will give us the desire of our hearts. Matthew 25:21

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MALACHI 2:17-3:5 – GOD’S MESSENGERS

NOW AND THEN – STUDIES IN MALACHI #5

God has had many messengers. In this study we find two of God’s messengers. One is the Lord Jesus himself.

THE LORD’S WEARINESS – 2:17

  • The people of Malachi’s day had wearied the LORD with their words.
  • Of course, they could not fathom how they were wearying the LORD. Ezekiel 18:25

“MY MESSENGER” – 3:1A

  • “My Messenger” was John the Baptist. Isaiah 40:3, Matthew 3:1-3, 11:10, 14, 17:10-12, Mark 1:2, Luke 1:15-17, John 1:23

MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT– 3:1B

  • The word “Lord” here is “adon”, which often refers to God. In Psalm 110:1, it refers to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus is addressed with this a similar word in Acts 2:36, 1 Corinthians 12:3, and Philippians 2:11.
  • The covenant appears to be the one between God and Israel.  The Messenger of the Covenant and the Angel of the Covenant appear to be the Lord Jesus. Exodus 23:20-23, Exodus 32:34, Isaiah 64:9
  • Jesus also appears in the Old Testament as “The Angel of the Lord”.
  • Although Jesus did come suddenly to His temple in his first advent (Luke 2:22-28, John 2:13-17), His second coming to the Millennial Temple is probably what is in view. Matthew 24:4-42

THE DAY OF HIS COMING– 3:2-4

  • Vs. 2 – Jesus’ Lordship will be enforced. No one will be able to stand against Him.     Revelation 19:11-21
  • He will cleanse like a refiner’s fire or a fuller’s soap.
  • Vs. 3 – The purified Sons of Levi will minister in the Millennial Temple. Ezekiel 44:15-31
  • Vs. 4 – “The good old days” will be repeated. 2 Chronicles 7:8-10, 30:26, 35:18

HOUSE CLEANING– 3:5

  • When Jesus comes, all evil will be removed.

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LUKE 22:1-23 – THE UPPER ROOM

LIFE OF CHRIST #52

This week we return to a place called “The Upper Room” to look in more detail concerning “The Last Supper”. It was a family meal, but unfortunately, there was some strain caused by Judas Iscariot who that very night would betray the Lord Jesus.

THE SCANDAL – Vss. 1-6, 21-23

Vs. 1 – Most of you are familiar with the Passover. Even today it is a holiday celebrated by our Jewish friends.

The Passover was a holiday celebrated in commemoration of God releasing the Jews from bondage in Egypt. There had been ten plagues that had been sent upon Egypt. In the last plague an “angel of death” was sent to visit the first born in families. The only place death did not visit is where the Jews had killed a lamb and applied the blood to the doorposts of the house or tent. Then the angel of death “passed over”.

Of course The Passover was also a picture of what the Lord Jesus would do for us. As John the Baptist announced concerning Jesus in John 1:29 …Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

1 Corinthians 5:7 - …For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

Vs. 2 – At Passover time there could have been as many as 200,000 visitors in Jerusalem. The city was brimming with people!

For some time the Jewish leaders wanted to kill Jesus.

Jesus was very popular.

They could not find the right opportunity to kill Him.

If they were to arrest Jesus publicly, they feared that the people would turn on them and support Jesus.

  1. would be a riot on their hands.

Vs. 3 – Then there was Judas. Judas was well respected by the disciples. Judas was the group’s treasurer, although John tells us in his Gospel that Judas was a thief. Judas had preached for Jesus as a disciple, and in all likelihood even worked miracles. But Judas was a phony! He wasn’t a true believer.

Judas was influenced by Satan to do his dastardly deed.

Vss. 4-6 – There was a high level secret meeting including Jesus, the high priests and the captains of the temple police, who would be involved in the arrest. The plan was simple.

Judas would bring them to Jesus in a quiet time away from the crowds and Jesus would be arrested.

Judas would look for the right time for betrayal.

He would find the right time that was ultimately God’s time.

Jesus would not be betrayed and arrested a moment too early or too late to fulfill God’s plan.

Vss. 21-22 - It is important to note that Jesus was not fooled. In fact, He treated Judas kindly, knowing that he would betray Him, and even giving Him opportunity to repent.

This was a sad time for Judas.

It is sad for anyone who pretends to be a Christian, but in reality is in cahoots with the Devil!

The greatest scandal of all is that you would sit in this pew Sunday after Sunday and not be truly a child of God, but a traitor. How many times do you have to hear the Gospel before you truly believe?

THE SUPPER – Vss. 7-18

Vss. 7-8 – The Day in which the Passover Lamb was to be killed had come. Jesus entrusted the meal preparations to two of His most trusted disciples, Peter and John. This was an important event, and Jesus chose men he could trust to get the job done.

I am reminded that even when we don’t realize it, what seems to be a menial task is important to our Savior. Those little insignificant things that He calls to us to do may actually have great significance to Him and His plans.

This reminds me that whatever I do, I am to do it well! Luke 16:10, Colossians 3:23

  1. 9 – Here was a logical question. Jerusalem was teeming with people planning to eat the Passover. Available room was at a premium.

Vs. 10 – They were to go into Jerusalem where they would see a man caring a pitcher of water. They were to follow him to the right place.

Why wasn’t Jesus more specific, giving a name and a street address?

I feel that He wasn’t more specific because Judas was looking for a good, quiet time to betray Jesus. Jesus was not going to allow this betrayal to take place until after a last Passover with His disciples and the institution of the Lord’s Supper.

It was unusual for men to carry water jars. They usually carried water in skins. The man would be obvious. He was to be followed.

Vss. 11-12 – Obviously the owner of the house knew the Master and was willing to share his large room on the top of the house for such an occasion. The room was furnished with the traditional couches that the men would recline on.

What would have been involved in getting the Passover meal ready?

All the food for the meal would have to be purchased, including unleavened bread, wine, bitter herbs etc.

A lamb would have to be secured, if it hadn’t been already.

Then, there would be a trip to the temple. Remember there were thousands of lambs being offered at the Passover. Each lamb was to cover the feeding of about 10 people.

Vss. 13-14 – Peter and John completed their duties and the Passover was ready for eating when Jesus and the other disciples arrived.

Vs. 15 – Jesus showed his love and concern for the disciples. “With desire he desired” to eat the Passover with them. He was eager!

He wanted one more quiet time of intimate fellowship with His disciples before he suffered at the hands of the chief priests and Roman soldiers. He wanted a time of intimacy to reassure, to teach, and to institute his own memorial, the Lord’s Supper.

This is again an indication as to how much Jesus loves His own. When you are loved by Jesus you are loved with an everlasting love!

Vs. 16 – This was to be the last Passover Jesus would partake of until He does so in His Millennial Kingdom.

Vss. 17-18 – There were four courses of wine passed during a Passover. There was prescribed course for what is called the Seder.

THE SACRAMENT – Vss. 19-20

There are churches that have seven “sacraments”.

We have just two, instituted by our Lord.

These things we practice because the Lord said to.

The first sacrament is believers’ baptism. Matthew 28:19-20

The Lord’s command was really quite simple.

To “teach all nations” means to “make disciples”.

A disciple is made when a person places their faith and trust in the Jesus Christ as their Savior.

The next step is to baptize the person who has become a disciple.

With all due respect it says nothing about baptizing babies in the Bible.

The last step in the process is the person who is baptized is to be taught.

If you are a believer you must be baptized after being saved! It is your testimony of faith in Christ!

The other sacrament is instituted in these verses.

It is called “The Lord’s Table” or “Holy Communion”.

Vs. 19 – The Bible is a Book that is to be taken literally, unless it is obvious that it is using a figure of speech.

Jesus took bread and gave thanks. This represents His broken body, and He was still able to give thanks.

He distributed the bread to the disciples.

He then said, “This is my body.”

It is obvious that Jesus was talking figuratively.

He does not mean that the bread is literally His Body.

It represents, it is a picture of, His body!

Just as He broke the bread His body was broken. Isaiah 52:14

When we take of the bread in remembrance of Him, we remember a body that was broken that had no broken bones. John 19:36

Vs. 20 - Next the Lord took the cup.

Just as the bread is not literally the body of Christ, the cup is not literally the blood of Christ.

It represents Jesus’ blood.

Forgiveness is found in Christ’s blood.

Atonement for sin is found in Christ’s blood.

Redemption is in the blood. Hebrews 9:13-14

The blood represents the New Testament, that is, the New Covenant or the new agreement in His blood.

The Old Testament, or covenant was instituted with the giving of the Ten Commandments, and other parts of the Old Testament law.

The Israelites promised to do obey God’s law’s completely.

The covenant or agreement was sealed in blood. Exodus 24:5-8

Of course, not Israel, or anyone else except the Lord Jesus has kept the covenant perfectly. We’ve all broken God’s laws. We are all failures.

So, God the Son brought a new covenant, a New Testament, that is, a new agreement. This agreement is also sealed in blood, the blood of His Son.

It is a covenant in which God forgives our sins through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ!

This New Covenant is an agreement in which God does it all.

Not only does He forgive our sins through the blood of His Son, but He indwells us with His Spirit enabling us to live the Christian life. Ezekiel 36:26-27

UNDER THE OLD COVENANT GOD SAID IN Exodus 19:5-6 - Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: [6] And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

UNDER THE NEW COVENANT GOD SAYS IN 1 Peter 2:9-10 - But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: [10] Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Next time you take of the Lord’s Table make sure that you remember The Upper Room:

THE SCANDAL

THE SUPPER

THE SACRAMENT

 

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ACTS 11:19-26 – A GOOD ROLE MODEL

There are many things to learn from role models. These people whom you respect as Christians and set a good example for others.  Some role models are public figures, others are those we know personally, and still others characters from the Bible. Some of these Biblical Role Models are Daniel, Joseph, Joseph (Jesus’ earthly Dad), David, Moses, Ruth, Mary, Mary and Martha, Esther, Peter, Moses’ mother etc.

One special man that was greatly used of God was Barnabas. We could call Barnabas "Mr. Encouragement" (Acts 4:36-37). Let us learn from his story. He is an excellent role model for us.

INTRODUCTION - Vss. 19-21 (Acts 8:1-4) 

As a result of the persecution that had resulted from Stephen's martyrdom, many Gentiles, especially in Antioch, came to Christ.

AVAILABILITY OF BARNABAS - Vs. 22

The leaders at the church in Jerusalem heard about the new believers in Antioch and dispatched Barnabas to help them. Barnabas was available to go. When God calls us to service, wherever it is, we need to be available to go as well. Matthew 28:19-20, Romans 12:1, Isaiah 6:1-8

ACTIVITY OF BARNABAS - Vss. 23, 25-26

  • He recognized the grace of God. Vs. 23
  • He encouraged the new believers. Vs. 23 – befriend, listen, answer questions, pray with and for them
  • He recruited Saul (Paul) to help teach the new believers. Vss. 25-26

ATTRIBUTES OF BARNABAS - Vs. 24

  • A Good Man – Only God is good. A good person comes to God through Jesus, and strives to live like Him. Jesus is the ultimate role model. 1 John 2:6
  • Full of the Holy Ghost – Submit to God, the Trinity, ask for and permit the Holy Spirit’s filling.  Luke 11:13, Ephesians 5:18
  • Full of Faith – Hebrews 11:6

The result of Barnabas' ministry was that even more people were saved.

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1 THESSALONIANS 3:1-10 – FAITH FACTOR

There was a show on television called "Fear Factor".  I only watched part of it once.  Evidently the idea of the show was to measure how much bravery a person has and at one point fear takes over.  In our text, Paul is not measuring bravery, but he is measuring the faith of the Thessalonians.

The Apostle Paul once spent about 3 weeks establishing a church in a city called Thessalonica.  After three weeks he was run out of town by persecution. Acts 17:1-10

Because he loved the new Thessalonian Christians, and knowing of the persecution that they would receive about their faith, Paul dispatched young Pastor Timothy to Thessalonica to check on the new church.  We have the story of Timothy's visit in

1 Thessalonians 3.  And in talking about Timothy's visit, we find that Paul's greatest concern was over the faith of the Thessalonians.  The word faith is used five times, and we learn that:

FAITH IS TO BE ENCOURAGED - Vss. 1-4

Timothy was dispatched to encourage the believers in their newfound faith.

FAITH IS TO BE EVALUATED - Vs. 5

Paul realized that because of the tough times that the Thessalonians were facing, it would be easier for Satan to come in and rob them of their faith. So, Paul wanted to make sure that the faith of the Thessalonians was still strong.

God has appointed church leaders, particularly pastors and elders, with the duty of watching you faith.  They aren't to judge your ministry, only the Lord can do that, but they should check to make sure your faith is strong, and then help strengthen that faith.

Proverbs 27:23, Hebrews 13:17, 1 Peter 5:2-3

FAITH IS TO BE EXPRESSED - Vs. 6

Timothy brought good news back to Paul.  In spite of the persecution and hardship being dished out by Satan, the Thessalonians were strong in their faith.  And not only were they strong in faith but in love as well.  And they also had a fond appreciation for their mentor, the Apostle Paul. Faith should show.

We should certainly express our faith verbally. Romans 12:9-10, Psalm 107:2

But our faith must go deeper than talk.  People need to see that what we are saying is real in our lives.

People need to see us leaning on God alone, when we face the trials and troubles of life.

People need to see us trusting God for the strength to obey Him.

Think about this.  We will only be obedient to God if we believe Him!

We will only be obedient to God when we have faith that He will give us the strength to do as He says.

FAITH IS TO BE ENCOURAGING - Vs. 7

Have you ever tried to comfort somebody and ended up being comforted yourself?  Some people have so much faith during their tough times, that they encourage others.

The Apostle Paul was having his own problems with affliction and persecution.  And when He heard about the faith of the Thessalonians, he was encouraged. There are certainly examples in Scripture of people who encouraged others.  When David was running from King Saul, Saul's son, Jonathan went out of his way to encourage David.

1 Samuel 23:16

When the Apostle Paul was a prisoner headed for Rome he was on a ship in the middle of a terrible storm.  He encouraged those with him that God had promised that all lives would be saved.

He encouraged them with these words found in Acts 27:25

Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

FAITH IS TO BE ENLARGED - Vs. 10

Paul prayed that he might have another opportunity to visit the Thessalonians and help to increase their faith.  Faith is something that should grow in our lives as we mature in the things of Christ.

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