In my last post, we saw how Paul employed 26 different intense, emotional, and personal elements to be able to disciple and minister with and to the Thessalonian believers. As I continued through the book of 1 Thessalonians I saw that his discipleship and relationship with these believers goes deeper still.
What I gain from his perspective is this:
“If you want to be a minister, pastor, or in other church work, you are called to people work. This requires a deep and intense love for people.”
Here are a few other passages in 1 Thessalonians that I gleaned on how Paul felt about the Thessalonians. You can pursue them for further study and ask God to change our heart for people and become the “Fishers of Men” that Jesus would have us become!
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then 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 shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
“But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.”
“But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”
How do I apply it:
How could this radical type of discipleship work in our modern fast paced life where people move quickly from one thing to another? It seems like people don’t have time for this?
I have found that with a growing family and the many inherent responsibilities to disciple my own family as well, it can be tough to have any other time to disciple others at the level that Paul describes about in his relationship with the Thessalonians.
So our family has made a commitment to what I am going to call “Radical Hospitality”. We have decided as a couple, and family that having people purposefully in our home by:
-sharing meals together
-having an open home where people can “drop by” anytime
-and by asking people to live with us long term.
We can invest in the way that Paul describes here. This is one means that we have found to invest in deeper discipleship.
What ways can you take a step (or continue) to be discipled by someone else? How can you then replicate that to invest deeply and richly into other believers?
Check out the rest of this 3-part series:
Paul’s Discipleship Strategy
26 Aspects of Discipleship
Richard Moore has been preaching and communicating to youth since 1994. He is married to Simone and has 3 children, Ana, Lydia, and Caleb. Richard is passionate about seeing an ever-increasing number of students come to know, worship, and obey Jesus authentically. To connect with Richard click here