The lesson was centered around 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 (NLT)
I began by giving some background on the book of 1 Thessalonians, explaining how Paul, formerly known as Saul, had a dramatic conversion experience and became an apostle of Jesus Christ. His ministry in Thessalonica led to numerous conversions, but also faced opposition and persecution. If you want to read about the success and challenges of Paul that led to the writing of this letter, please read Acts 17.
The core message I wanted to convey throughout the lesson was the importance of love, praise, and encouragement within the Christian community. Just as Paul loved and encouraged the Thessalonian church, I emphasized our need as modern-day Christians to support and uplift one another.
I highlighted that God's love goes far beyond just giving His Son for our salvation and eternal life; God has also granted us access to His kingdom and glory. See verse 1 Thessa 2:12(b) (NLT). We should never underestimate our worth, and we must reject any lies that diminish our value. God deeply cares for each one of us and has honored us.
I repurposed the quote that originally says, "The two most important days in your life are the
day you are born, and the day you find out why." Into saying, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born-again, and the day you find out why."
Born-again is nothing but the day you remember when you stop knowing about God and you know God. I share both a reflection on the life of Jesus before he began His ministry on earth and a reflection of my own life, which I called the “Story of the Wallet.” – The idea was to encourage everyone to move beyond mere knowledge of God to a genuine, intimate relationship with Him. I also reflected on the discovery of the “Why” of Jesus, which was to please the Father.
So I used the certainty of…
1. God so loved the world that gave Jesus as a ramson for many.
2. That we have the opportunity not to perish but experience eternal life
3. And that we are to share in His kingdom and glory
To lead you to realize the need for us not to be served but to serve others even if, or especially when, they are a burden… just as Jesus served during His earthly ministry. The challenge is for all of us to embrace our role in serving others with humility and love despite the burden that entails.
I take this from 1 Thessalonians 2:9 (NLT) – Paul worked day and night outside of the congregation as a tent maker (Worked with Leather) so that he (Paul or Silas) wouldn’t be a burden to the early church, knowing fully Paul and Silas were a burden in other ways, nonetheless.
I took this opportunity to remind the congregation that there are burdens that we gladly carry, there are burdens that we should let go and that the wisdom of God is what could guide us to know the difference.
So stop feeling sorry or being apologetic because you might be a burden... For God, for the people of God, you are a beloved burden that we gladly carry. In the same way, stop living your life as if everyone is responsible for carrying you to the finish line.
Download Sermon Slides