Further Study: Friends Forever
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“The arrival of Silas and Timothy from Macedonia, during Paul’s sojourn in Corinth, had greatly cheered the apostle. They brought him ‘good tidings’ of the ‘faith and charity’ of those who had accepted the truth during the first visit of the gospel messengers to Thessalonica. Paul’s heart went out in tender sympathy toward these believers, who, in the midst of trial and adversity, had remained true to God.”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 255.

“True, heaven-born love is not selfish [...]

Inside Story: Finding the Way Home, part 1
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Verusca’s brothers had become Adventists and often talked about their new faith. Verusca knew that what her brothers told her was probably true, but she wanted no part of a church that didn’t allow dancing or drinking or other things that she enjoyed. But her brothers wouldn’t take a hint; they kept talking to her about their faith.

Marques, one of her brothers’ friends, often visited the family’s home. He talked about God, too, and invited her to study the Bible [...]

Thursday: Paul’s Renewed Prayers (1 Thess. 3:11-13)
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Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

The second coming of Jesus is a powerful incentive to spiritual growth. Every act of abuse or oppression will be brought to justice. Every act of love or kindness will be recognized and rewarded (see, for example, Matt. 10:42). That means that every act in this life, no matter how small, has meaning in the ultimate scheme of things.

But equally important for Paul, and the emphasis in this week’s lesson, is that the Second Coming will be a glorious reunion of family and [...]

Wednesday: The Result of Timothy’s Visit (1 Thess. 3:6-10)
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Read 1 Thessalonians 3:6-8. Timothy was sent to encourage the Thessalonians. What aspects of Timothy’s report brought joy and encouragement to Paul? That is, what did Timothy see in the Thessalonians that Paul thought was so good?

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The “but now” of verse 6 is very emphatic. Paul did not waste any time before sitting down to write to the Thessalonians. The instant he got the news from Timothy, he immediately wrote 1 Thessalonians.

What do we learn [...]

Tuesday: Timothy’s Substitute Visit (1 Thess. 3:1-5)
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Read 1 Thessalonians 3:1-5 and Matthew 24:9-22. In what larger context does Paul see the sufferings of the Thessalonians and himself?

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Paul is so distressed about his absence from the Thessalonians that he decides to forgo the companionship of Timothy in Athens in order to get firsthand news of their situation. His intense longing for them leads him to prefer being without Timothy rather than being without news of how they are faring.

Because Timothy’s mission is to be [...]

Monday: Paul’s Hope and Joy (1 Thess. 2:17-20)
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In the fourteen verses that run from 1 Thessalonians 2:17 through 3:10, Paul offers a chronological account of his separation from the Thessalonian believers. The theme of friendship runs throughout the passage. These Thessalonians are not just parishioners of Paul; they are truly friends. The entire passage pulses with deep emotion.

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Paul wants all of his later advice to, and criticism of, the church (in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 5) to be read in light of his [...]

Sunday: The Judean Example (1 Thess 2:13-16)
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First Thessalonians 2:13-16 reads on the surface like a digression from the previous themes of pleasing God and caring for the new believers (1 Thess. 2:1-12). But verse 13 continues the theme of how the Thessalonians responded to the apostles and the gospel that they brought to Thessalonica. With verse 14, Paul returns to the theme of imitation. The persecution in Thessalonica echoed the earlier persecution of Christians in Judea. Some Jews persecuted Jewish Christians in Judea, while Gentile and [...]

Sabbath: Friends Forever (1 Thess. 2:13-3:13)
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Read for This Week’s Study: 1 Thess. 2:13-3:13; Rom. 9:1-5; 11:1-12, 24-32; Matt. 24:9-22; 10:42.

Memory Text: “May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones” (1 Thessalonians 3:13, NIV).

Key Thought: Paul continues to praise the Thessalonians for the good things he sees in them and to encourage them amid the persecution they are facing.

As we read these passages, we can see that, to Paul, the Thessalonians aren’t [...]

Further Study: The Apostolic Example
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“No matter how high the profession, he whose heart is not filled with love for God and his fellow men is not a true disciple of Christ. . . . He might display great liberality; but should he, from some other motive than genuine love, bestow all his goods to feed the poor, the act would not commend him to the favor of God.”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 318, 319.

“While Paul was careful to set before his [...]

Inside Story: The Lost Boy
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Du and Zho are a Global Mission pioneer couple who are planting a church in a city in China. They sell products from door to door in order to meet people and make friends for Christ. They focus on helping people with special needs such as the sick, the elderly, and the needy. Then they introduce their new friends to their Savior.

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Most of the people living in the region worship idols, so Du and [...]