LOVING YOUR FAITH-FAMILY
1 Thessalonians 4:9
“Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.”
The book of 1 Thessalonians in the Bible is a letter from the apostle Paul to the Christians in the city of Thessalonica, an influential city in the Roman Empire. This was a persecuted church. They faced poverty, grief, theological questions, and leadership turmoil. But in our verse today we learn that they still had the advantages loving one another and knowing God and His teachings. With this combination, they could weather any storm! In the same way we love and pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in churches all around the world today. They need us to help them!
1. Paul writes in verse nine that their love for God was obvious. He did not even have to address it in this letter. What are some ways we know that a church has love for one another?
2. Paul also writes in our verse that they have been “taught by God” to love each other. Name some ways God teaches us to have this love. (Hint: Read John 13:34-35)
3. Do you love the members of your local church? Name some ways you show this love. Do you love all Christians everywhere? Remember, if someone has surrendered their life to Jesus, they are your brother or sister!
1. Love God. For He teaches us how to love one another. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
2. Love Your Church. They are your family of faith. “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
3. Love Those Who are Lost. For they may be future members of your faith family. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
4. Love Yourself. You have a new beginning with Jesus every day. “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
Prayer for the Persecuted Church: O God of all the nations, in your providence you sometimes allow your Church to be united to the suffering of your Son. So please have mercy on those believers who now are persecuted for their faith in you. Grant them strength and courage to endure and even thrive. Bring your wisdom upon leaders of nations to work for peace among all peoples. May your Spirit open conversion for those who contradict your will, that we may live in harmony. And give us the grace to be united in truth and freedom, and to be always ready to help others to know You and seek your will. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.