Hello CityPoint family and friends. This will be a series of posts going through 1 and 2 Thessalonians that have been previously sent out through email blasts in recent months. We will be posting the old entries to the Blog page here on the website and tagging them so they are easily searchable for future reference and for others to join in and get caught up on reading Michael Gentosi’s devotionals as he walks through the text. This first post is from his initial email announcement last fall:
Our Dearest CityPoint,
It is always a challenge to ensure we stay in the Word daily, literally every single day that we life. There are numerous verses throughout the Bible that challenge us to this. I encourage you to simply Google this topic to see them. That being said, we are moving into I and II Thessalonians over the coming weeks. If you have your own reading schedule, please find time to venture into these books. If you don’t have a reading schedule currently or are wondering what to read next, please join us with this. This week through the week of September 20th, we will concentrate on I Thessalonians. Read it daily even if it is just part of it. The goal would be to read it several times through the coming weeks. Starting the week of September 27th and continuing into the week of October 11th, we will dive into II Thessalonians. Every few days, we will send out a few points to consider as we move through the chapters. If you have questions going along, please feel free to send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org Please mark Thessalonians in the subject line.
I know we all live busy lives, but we felt this is a good way to challenge each other, get into the Word daily, and not have another in-person time to dedicate.
I and II Thessalonians: Introduction
The compilation below in the introduction of Thessalonians is coming from 2 sources: The Word in Life Study Bible (NKJV) and the King James Version Bible Commentary. These will also be used as references as we move forward with the addition of The Wiersbe Bible Commentary. For the sake of simplicity, I am not going to reference each source below unless I provide direct quotes. Just know these are the sources that provides the Introduction provided, and I am also referring to both I and II Thessalonians. Therefore, the words below are not our own, but they come from the Word itself and commentaries from Bible scholars who have made it their passion to searching Scripture. I highly recommend getting a commentary or a study Bible of some sort as they did much deeper than our English language from either the Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament). If you have questions on these, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Paul penned both books from Corinth in around AD 51. This was shortly after Paul left Timothy in Thessalonica. Thessalonica was located in Greece and is now known as Thessaloniki. Thessalonians provides the model for the church thus providing instruction to us today in carrying out the instructions of the apostles. Oddly enough, what is specifically noted is: “people in our culture are choosing to live increasingly isolated lives, putting distance between themselves and the needs of the world” (Word in Life Study Bible). If this doesn’t explain our life with COVID, I don’t know what does. The letters call for several points:
- Long-term progress in the faith
- The refusal to let hope fade
- Keep working (both in the working place and maintaining a home)
- Keep from immoral practices of the heathen
- Most pressing, Paul writes to the coming of Christ for the Church (something we still long for)
- With the coming of Christ, two questions are answered that have major implications for our current situation: What will happen in the end times? How should believers live as they await the return of the Lord?
Two items the Thessalonians are commended for: withstanding the temptations of the devil and being an example to other believers in the area of steadfastness of faith.
With the above being stated, we hope you enjoy this opportunity to read through I and II Thessalonians with us to glean how we as a church can use the Church of Thessalonica to navigate our current times.
Michael and Alana