08/29/2021 Endure in love

Endure in love

1 The. 2:11-20; 8/29/2021; BCBC/IOUC; Rev. Paul Wang

Introduction

Maybe we haven’t thought about it, but we still have to be patient in love? Yes, in fact, only in love can patience bear the fruit! Love is not a feeling, at least not only a feeling, but more importantly, a decision, a decision of love! Just as the Bible defines love: love is endurance! Therefore, patience in love is the way of life. Let’s look at the first point:

Worthy of God’s gracious calling

Love is a work of art built in relationships, can you experience it? In 1 Thessalonians, Paul has an obvious “parental view” to describe the relationship of love. It is the encouragement, comfort, and urging between him and the church. First of all, worthy of one’s own calling. The church is the gathering of a group of called people, and you and I are among the people. Peter said: But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9). When did these four noble identities start? Will it start when we believe in the Lord? After having a good testimony? Or after making some credit? neither! Paul said, For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love (Ephesians 1:4) Before the world was created, we were chosen by God!

Second, be worthy of the Word received. John testified: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1) Word is the word of God and the Bible. Jesus Christ is the living word of God. It is the spiritual food that accompanies us every day! Do you pray every day? You are praying to the living Word, which is Christ Jesus! Do you practice devotion? That is how you get close to the Word of God, do you know? Do you listen to the sermon every Sunday? That is the living word and the word written in the Bible, through your humble, even insignificant pastor to speak to you, tell you, communicate with you, and send out signals of love! Did you get it? Are your words and deeds commensurate with the Word you have received?

Finally, worthy of the Word in the heart. The original text of “Worthy of” is αχιοσ (axios), and its etymology is an adverb. In fact, it only appears in the first small point, referring to proportionately or similar to its value. The wonder of Word can be living in the creation of heaven and earth, living in the incarnation of theWord, and being written into the Bible, “Work in you who believe!” This has to mention the Holy Spirit, which is the third person in the Trinity. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit proves with our heart that we are children of God! Jesus asked, who do you say I am? Peter said, You are Christ, the son of the living God! Paul also testified: “If not by the Holy Spirit, no one can say: “Jesus is Lord” (1 Corinthians 12:3).” Let’s look at the second point:

Endure all kinds of suffering

Paul said in chapter 3: So that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them. (1 Thessalonians 3:3) If you have unrealistic fantasies about suffering, now is the time to sober up. Yes, God blesses, and He brings disaster! First of all, being victimized by one’s own people. Jesus said very clear: You have suffering in the world, but I have overcome the world! It seems to be okay to be hurt by outsiders, and it feels as expected. But if you are hurt by your family, you will be caught off guard and feel deeper, right? Being hurt by your family or by your biological family leaves a deep scar that may affect your life. But if it is hurt by a spiritual family member, it may affect the faith in the Lord. During Paul’s missionary journey, he has been persecuted by his fellow citizens and Jews who are also God’s chosen people. How can it be! So, in the church today, it is not surprising that brothers and sisters may hurt each other, right? But, can we leave a field of love for those who hurt us when we are injured? Are you willing?

Secondly, tell all the pain in your heart. Paul is here to pour out his sorrows to God! He said, The Jews who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to everyone. (1 Thessalonians2:15Obviously, this is Paul dumping rubbish and venting pressure to God! This is a grace! When we encounter pressure, it is extremely precious to talk to a mature spiritual support system. Of course, it is not appropriate for Paul’s team to argue with the Jewish that persecuted them, or even to expose their historical scars and reality scars. We can pray to God, or we can share with each other in the church co-workers meeting and among mature leaders. But avoid becoming a discourse of gossip and displeasing God!

Finally, hinder the spread of the gospel. In Paul’s view, it is a small matter for you to persecute me, but a serious matter for hindering me from preaching the gospel! Paul said that the Jews “do not allow us to preach to the Gentiles so that the Gentiles can be saved.” In the eyes of Paul and his party, this is really a very serious sin! May I ask what other sin is greater than the sin that hinders the gospel? Today, God has brought us online through the pandemic, marching to the ends of the earth through Zoom, and sounding the trumpet of the gospel! Are we accustomed to offline gatherings because of our own preferences and hinder the spread of the gospel, just as the Jews hindered Paul? No matter how much you seem to be spiritual, you seem to be fluent in prayer, and it is inevitable “Always heap up their sins to the limit. It’s not hard to notice that “The wrath of God has come upon them at last.” Whoever has ears, let them hear. Did you hear that? Let’s look at the third point:

You are my joy

The third point happened to be my devotional journal the day when I wrote the sermon on Thursday, which is about the relationship among us. First of all, I would love to see you in person. Paul left Thessalonica, went to Athens, and “temporarily parted” with his family in Christ of Thessalonica, and he began to miss the brothers and sisters in Thessalonica church. The word parting is very interesting, the original is απορπηνιζο (aporphanizo), which actually means “to be an orphan”. It’s kind of like the feeling that a mother can’t do without her own child for a moment, can you understand it? This is mentioned previously in the chapter two, verse seven, Paul treats his brothers and sisters: “like a nursing mother cares for her children.” Dear brothers and sisters, I look forward to seeing you every Sunday, and it seems that I cannot lose sight of you for a moment! Every Sunday worship is over, I look forward to the next meeting. Either in the prayer meeting, or in the discipleship, until next week’s Sunday worship. I believe that every time we meet, there is the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Every time we talk, there must be God’s good will. Every sharing or questioning is the Holy Spirit working in our hearts. Every time the pastor answers, there must be the presence of God’s wisdom to make up for the pastor’s shortcomings and unworthiness.

Second, Satan cannot stop loving each other. It is necessary to explain that Satan’s obstruction is nothing great! Obstruction is εγκοπτο (egkopto) in the original text, which means intervention, interruption, obstruction, etc. Satan will enter our heart to interrupt our connection, meeting, and love, right? It always hinders us from loving one another and obstructs us from seeing each other. The point of interception from the end of the world to the end of the day is near, Satan will be very anxious, He is afraid that we will believe in Jesus. He does not want us to love each other in the church, and even more does not want us to preach the gospel and share testimonies for the Lord!

Finally, my hope for your standing. It turns out that every time we meet is of great significance! Here Paul reveals the ultimate meaning of our meeting, which is: For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? (1 Thessalonians 2:19) ” He is subverting the world! God used him to completely reverse the core values. A man of God takes the greatest benefit of his brothers and sisters in his heart and becomes his own “hope and joy.” Even our crown is not our own power and merit, but the brothers and sisters “Can you stand firmly before God?” Why is this so? Paul finally revealed the “answer“: Indeed, you are our glory and joy. (1 Thessalonians 2:20)

Conclusion

Oh God! I want to thank you! Because of you, we have become a loving relationship with each other! When we truly love each other, People would recognize that we are disciples of the Lord! Lord, I want to be yours, only belong to you, and always belong to you!

Let us pray……

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