PAUL WAS A POET. Preachers know it.
That’s why they often quote him when it comes time to end a worship service and send the congregation back out into the wild, where they need to act like the Christians they’re supposed to be.
I’ve been paraphrasing the two letters Paul wrote to new Christians in northern Greece: 1, 2 Thessalonians. And I’m writing leader’s guides for Bible study groups. It’s for the Casual English Bible.
When Paul wrote these letters, the folks at the city of Thessalonica were just a few weeks old as believers. Paul had spent only three weeks with them when he got run out of town.
A few more weeks into his trip south, toward Corinth, he sent his associate Timothy to go back and check on them. Paul was worried about them because they were stuck living under the hostile conditions that drove Paul away. It was their home. They had to face up to the persecution. Leaving wasn’t an option for them.
When Timothy got back to Paul with good news that the faith of these Thessalonian folks was holding strong, Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians. It was a letter expressing his joy…and offering encouragement for them in the face of the trouble he knew would drag on.
He ended his letter with perhaps one of his most beautiful blessings.
May the God of peace purify you from the inside out, and in every way—so that everything that makes you who you are, in spirit, soul, and body, will be kept safe and blame-free when our leader, Jesus the Messiah, comes.
The one who has invited you is someone you can count on. He will do this for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:23, Casual English Bible
Blog subscribers who win books this week
- Cindy Milligan
- Pamela Pike
I give away free books every week to randomly selected subscribers to my free blog or my quarterly newsletter.
Winners now get to choose from a stack of titles, including my two most recent: A Visual Walk Through Genesis and The One-Stop History of the Bible.
Note to the two winners: send me an email and I’ll give you the full list of books from which you can choose.
The deal’s good for a month, or for as long as I have giveaway books available.
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