Devotional Series: Encouragement from 1 Thessalonians

A woman giving money to a homeless man

An Unexpected Result of Loving

How can we become more like God? There are many answers to this question, of course. But 1 Thessalonians 3 shows that one way we become more like God is by becoming more loving to others. As God makes us increase and abound in love, our hearts become more and more like the heart of God.

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A person fishing in a river

Restoration in Rest

Constant work not only exhausts us, but it exhausts the world around us. It is consumptive. When we choose to build in rhythms of rest and delight, we give those around us and the earth itself a break from our demands.

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People rushing up and down the stairs of a building

“Are You Keeping Busy?”

Our culture idolizes and rewards busyness. Although work is a good part of God’s plan for humankind, God does not intend us to be constantly busy. Instead, he invites us to daily, weekly, and seasonal times of rest. Choosing to build rest into the rhythms of our lives is one of the most important steps of faith we can take.

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Mark Roberts' mom coming out of a tent

Learning to Love from Others

God teaches us how to love in various ways. One of the main ones is through the example and inspiration of others. As we see people loving actively, even sacrificially, we will be led to imitate their actions. At the same time, when we act in love toward people, we will model love for others as well.

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A man with a bookbag and a cat kneeling down and talking to another man with a sign that says "Homeless"

Are You Growing in Love for Others?

How can we grow in love for others? There are many answers to this question, of course. The Bible shows us that God helps us to “increase and abound” in love for people. Often this happens as the Spirit points us to someone in need of love and helps us to know how best to love that person.

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Two camels looking at each other across a pole

Yearning for Face Time

Engaging with people digitally, including our work colleagues, can be a gift. But this gift has limitations.

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A man with his face in his hands

Destined for Difficulties

Being a Christian does not deliver us from life’s difficulties. But knowing Christ does give us access to comfort and meaning.

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A painting of a hand reaching out to touch another hand, mimicking the famous painting by Michelangelo where God touches Adam's hand

You Are God’s Co-Worker

1 Thessalonians 3:2 refers to Timothy as a “co-worker of God.” Though we are certainly God’s servants who work under God’s authority and for God’s pleasure, there is a sense in which we are also God’s co-workers. That’s the way God set it up in the very beginning. God has chosen you as a partner in God’s good work in the world.

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Mark's son Nathan standing on top of Mt. Whitney holding a sign reading "14,505 feet"

Take the Long View

In writing to the Thessalonians, Paul and his colleague take the long view of their work. They see what they’re doing in the moment as related to what will happen when Christ returns. Their example encourages us to see our lives in light of the future—our future, to be sure, but also God’s future.

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A toddler standing on a sidewalk crying with their shoes off

When Leaders Are Like Children

Wise and emotionally healthy leaders will know when to function in the diverse roles associated with their leadership. They will know that there is a time to exhort as a father, to nourish as a mother, and even to feel childlike affection for the people they lead.

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A gate padlocked shut

Opposition to the Gospel

Jesus called us to love all of our neighbors, and even our enemies.

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Scrabble tiles spelling out "LEARN FROM FAILURE"

Living the Energizing Gospel

What difference will the energizing good news of the gospel make in our daily lives?

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A man standing on a mountaintop at sunrise with his arms outstretched

The Energizing Gospel

We are people in whom the gospel is at work.

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A man standing on a mountaintop with his arms outstretched

Lead a Life Worthy of God

The example of the Apostle Paul and his colleagues reminds us that our leadership isn’t all about us.

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Leading Like an Unusual Father

In your workplace – today, may God give you the grace to encourage those with whom you interact: your colleagues, your subordinates, your superiors, your customers, your vendors, your clients, and all others.

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