Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation. - C. Everett Koop
Paul, in 1 Thessalonians, wrote, “Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:7b-9
Right now I’m reading a lot of books and articles on parenting. I want Thea to have the best opportunity to be a happy, healthy, well-adjusted follower of Jesus. Erika and I are working hard to make sure that her sleep habits, eating, and playtime are designed to facilitate her growth. All this is natural and normal. We expect parents to do the work to make sure their kids are safe.
Paul compares the care for his church to the care of a parent with their children. There are some stunning comparisons that any parent or caregiver can relate to.
- Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. – 1 Thessalonians 2:9
- you remember ... our toil and hardship; we worked night and day – 1 Thessalonians 2:10
- …we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. – 1 Thessalonians 2:11b-12
Does any of that sound familiar? Sharing your very self. Working night and day. Encouraging, comforting and urging other. This is the stuff of parenting. It also is, or so Paul is arguing, part of the way we are called to care for each other in the church.
This is an important piece to the greater argument of 1 Thessalonians. Paul wrote the letter to this new church plant while they were going through a time of persecution. People were wondering what happens when they die, when Jesus is coming back, and big questions like that.
To help calm them, Paul reminds them that they are loved. Loved by Paul. Loved by God. Loved by each other. They also get to hear the clearest reminder that Jesus is coming back. When Jesus returns, the dead who have believed in Christ will rise and will join the living to meet the Lord in the air (4:15–17). Unbelievers will experience God’s wrath, while believers will inherit salvation (1:10; 5:2–4, 9–10).
Paul wrote this as an encouragement. He’s helping us get ready. He reminds us that Christians are called to be holy and blameless (3:11–4:8; 5:23). God, despite all evidence to the contrary, will continue to be faithful. God Himself will produce in them the holiness he requires (5:24).
Do you see how this can decrease anxiety and build faith?
Think about it. How can we encourage the people around us? How can we build their faith? How can we help them deal with their fears and anxieties?
Let’s be family. Let’s keep taking care of each other. With You;
Upcoming Daily Audio Bible Readings
October 12 Jeremiah 19:1-21:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:4-28, Psalm 82:1-8, Proverbs 25:8-10
October 13 Jeremiah 22:1-23:20, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12, Psalm 83:1-18, Proverbs 25:11-14
October 14 Jeremiah 23:21-25:38, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-17, Psalm 84:1-12, Proverbs 25:15
October 15 Jeremiah 26:1-27:22, 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18, Psalm 85:1-13, Proverbs 25:16
October 16 Jeremiah 28:1-29:32, 1 Timothy 1:1-20, Psalm 86:1-17, Proverbs 25:17
October 17 Jeremiah 30:1-31:26, 1 Timothy 2:1-15, Psalm 87:1-7, Proverbs 25:18-19
October 18 Jeremiah 31:27-32:44, 1 Timothy 3:1-16, Psalm 88:1-18, Proverbs 25:20-22
October 19 Jeremiah 33:1-34:22, 1 Timothy 4:1-16, Psalm 89:1-13, Proverbs 25:23-24
October 20 Jeremiah 35:1-36:32, 1 Timothy 5:1-25, Psalm 89:14-37, Proverbs 25:25-27