1 Thessalonians 3
Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, 2 and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith,
Because of Paul’s love for those he ministered the gospel to, he had to know how they were doing. Long before Facetime and telephones the only ways to really know how someone was doing was to go visit them. Paul wanted to get back to Thessalonica but was hindered from doing so. Unable to determine their spiritual well-being, Paul sent Timothy to see how his beloved brothers and sisters in Christ were doing. As Timothy was Paul’s “right arm” helper, it was a big deal for Paul to send him away for a period of time but so great was his desire to send encouragement that he sent Timothy anyway.
As we read here, Timothy had a specific job to do; he was to establish and encourage their faith. This was a good church with faithful people but they still needed someone to come and to encourage them. Paul knew the importance of this encouragement and so arranged for Timothy to go. As we read 2 Thessalonians we see that the church was strengthened and that Timothy came back with a good report (though not stated this is definitely implied in 2 Thessalonians 1).
Can we ask ourselves today if 1. We are encouraging anyone’s faith and 2. If we need someone to encourage us in our faith? We face destructive words every day. We are compared with others, our jobs are critiqued, our motives are questioned and the very core of who we are is scrutinized. We come to church in need of encouragement and someone there unloads their problems on us so that we leave heavier than when we came. Can I suggest that you ask God to lead you to someone that needs some encouragement in their faith and that you prepare yourself to be their encourager? They might be tottering on the brink of major failure and your words could be just what they need to be established and strengthened.
But, you may say, I need someone to encourage me. When we take time to encourage others, their appreciation can become our encouragement. When Timothy came back with a good report, Paul was encouraged in his faith. God was still working in their lives and Paul was strengthened. Who can you encourage and thus find strength in their encouragement?
We heard last night from Titus 2:3-4 about the mature Christian woman who teaches younger women what it means to show forth Christ. This is a message that is not being proclaimed in too many places today. Thanks Brent for being honest and careful with the Scriptures. We begin at 7:00 tonight and I trust you will be able to make it. If you have to stay home to answer your doorbell, come a few minutes late but don’t miss the whole service.
Brent is preaching at our Sunrise Assisted Living service this morning. Pray for God to use Him there.
Have a great day in the Lord,