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Two, Four, Six, Eight; Who Do We Appreciate? – Be a Positive Force to Others

Be a Positive Force to OthersThe salutations of the letters Paul wrote to fledgling churches and to ministry colleagues were far from routine.  They revealed that he was out to do more than present theoretical truth.

He was addressing individuals he cared about deeply, with whom he’d forged strong ties, and for whom he wrestled in prayer.

Interact with God’s Word:  1 Thessalonians 1:2-3; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4; Romans 1:8; Ephesians 1:15; Philippians 1:3-5; 2 Timothy 1:3-4

  1. In each greeting, what does Paul say about his feelings toward his letter readers? How do you think this affected their openness to his instructions?
  2. What aspects of the Thessalonians’ faith (1 Thess. 1:3) did he single out to thank God for?
  3. What was the environment in which the Thessalonian believers (2 Thess. 1:3-4) were “flourishing”?
  4. What qualities of the Ephesians did he commend?
  5. Paul maintained that he constantly interceded for those he wrote to. Do you think this was a figure of speech or actually true?
  6. Are you surprised by the intensity of Paul’s loneliness for his understudy Timothy?
  7. What were Paul’s prayer requests for his fellow believers? (See also Ephesians 1:16-19.)

Spend Time in Prayer:  Ask God to help you model Paul’s example of generous praise and fervent prayer for fellow Jesus followers.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

2 We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. 3 As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:3-4

3 Dear brothers and sisters, we can’t help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing. 4 We proudly tell God’s other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering.

Romans 1:8

8 Let me say first that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith in him is being talked about all over the world.

Ephesians 1:15

15 Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere …

Philippians 1:3-5

3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 5 for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.

2 Timothy 1:3-4

3 Timothy, I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again.

Prayer for the Week: Teach me, Lord, how to mirror you by becoming a positive force in the lives of my family and acquaintances.



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