Sunday School Material 6-13-10: Pleasing to God
(I Thessalonians 2:1-12; 6/13/10)
Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that Paul minister to his readers in a way that urged them to live godly lives. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to minister in a way that others are urged to live godly lives.
Read I Thessalonians 2:1-2
I. Results of the Ministry. Paul talks about his experience with the readers. They knew of the hardships he suffered. They knew how he was faithful in presenting the Gospel, in spite of his hardships.
- Dedication in times of trouble. Notice in vs. 2 of the Sunday School material the mention of Paul remaining bold and faithful, in spite of the troubles that he faced. The more we line up with God’s will for our lives, the more we can expect some troubles and hardships to come. T
he daily dedication of discipleship is so important, because we are called to stay faithful. Let’s work on having the dedication needed to stay faithful to God’s will, even when troubles come into our lives.
We must be able to hang in there, even when we are lied on, ignored, mistreated, and don’t feel well.
Read I Thessalonians 2:3-9
II. Conduct of the Ministry. Paul talks about the sacrifices he and his company made to share the Word of God with the readers. Paul saw himself as an agent of God, not of the people. He was gentile, instead of harsh with the readers.
- Godly motives. Notice in vss. 3-6 of the Sunday School material how important motives are. It is possible to do the right thing for the wrong reason. People may never find out, but God already knows. At judgment, we will have to give an account of what we have done and why we did what we have done. Our actions and heart will be judged.
Let’s work on being obedient to God with godly motives. We should have motives like thankfulness, the blessings of God, to prevent the punishment of God, and love of those we serve. Trying to outdo others, trying to make a sneaky dollar, or trying to make others look bad are bad motives.
- Sharing the Word. Notice in vss. 3-9 of the Sunday School material that Paul was faithful in sharing the Word of God. Let’s be faithful in sharing the Word of God with our loved ones and those we meet on our lives’ journeys.
Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Faith comes by hearing the word. Hearing calls for someone to speak and someone to listen. Believers are called to speak.
As important as good works are, let’s make sure we are faithful in sharing the word of God. The review of the Membership Orientation material and Training Union are very helpful in this regard.
- Giving ourselves in ministry. Notice in vs. 8 of the Sunday School material that Paul gave himself to those he served. There is much truth to the statement that people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. God commands believers to love one another and their neighbors.
We are not to simply be professors and social workers. We are to give ourselves lovingly to those we minister to. Let’s work on giving ourselves in ministry. This calls for some disclosure and vulnerability. It calls for trusting God and forgiving people, when they take advantage of you.
Read I Thessalonians 2:10-12
III. Testimony of the Ministry. Paul talks about how the readers and God are witnesses of the things he has said. Paul did all of this, so the readers would be urged to live godly lives. Not only Paul, but God wanted the readers to live up to that which they were called to – God’s kingdom (i.e., where the King/God rules) and glory.
- Walking worthy. Notice in vss. 10-12 of the Sunday School material that Paul lived and walked in such a worthy way that people and God could bear witness of his faithfulness.
Let’s live so that people and more importantly God can bear witness of our faithfulness. It is hard to minister to people, without credibility. More important than what people think is what God knows. Judgment is coming.
Conclusion: Let’s work on ministering in ways that urges others to live godly lives. God has much for those who obey His will.
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