I THESSALONIANS

The following comments are from Navigator's and Quiet Time Diary journals. One verse will be entered, then the comment, then the date.

1:3    constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father. 

    I chose this verse mainly for one word: steadfastness. The book is written to the Thessalonians - who must have been steadfast and not wavering in their faith. In the past I often quit a project after approximately three years. This project - sanctification - must last a lifetime! (DRM 7/6/03)

1:4    knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you;

    While this verse is short, it has a special meaning to me. It shows that God chose me. He has predetermined what my life would be like and still chose me to love Him. I had to accept His gift and will never forget that January 1986 day. (DRM 7/30/2000)

    Election is another source of disagreement among some Christians. This verse and a cross-reference in 2 Peter 1:10 clearly indicate that God chose us to be in His family. He knew what our decision would be - whenever we decided for Christ - before we were born. (DRM 7/16/06)

1:5    . . . for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.

    This is the end of a complex sentence that started in v2. Here I am reminded that the gospel -the Word of God- came not only in reading the Bible, but also by the conviction of the Holy Spirit - Who directs our thoughts and actions when we (I) yield to Him.
    Probably the "full conviction" is the absolute faith that we (I) have that the Word of God is true, and we should run our lives by its content. (DRM 7/5/09)

1:6    You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

    From the very beginning, I wanted to become an imitator of the person who first directed me toward my salvation. After time, though, it didn't mean anything to imitate a person. Now it seems better to imitate Jesus Christ and pray to be more like Him every day. The suffering may come, but I must be willing to stand up for it when and if it comes. (DRM 3/1/87)

    As this verse states, imitation of others' success is good. If it worked for them, it should work for me also. The learning process is a form of tribulation, but the joy at the end is worth it all. I use Dwight L. Moody as an example, but Jesus is the King. (DRM 7/7/03)

1:7    so that you became an example to all believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.

    As I try to live my life for the Lord, I don't think about how many people are watching me. With my transparency, people can see a lot of what's inside of me. May I be seen to reflect God's love. (DRM 7/31/2000)

    One of my favorite expressions to believers is that we should "glow." I hope I do. Others can see His presence in us, if we speak (v. 8), or by our actions, we are to reflect the Son, Jesus. (DRM 7/17/06)

1:8    For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.

    This verse is a great compliment to the church at Thessalonica. Apparently they have been evangelizing to others in their country and wherever they went - which is the mission that each of us is given today - but am I (we) doing enough? Would Jesus say, 'well done," as Paul seems to have done here? (DRM 7/6/09)

1:9    For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,

    This is an encouraging verse.
    Paul was writing to the church at Thessalonica and telling them that the people from other cities' churches were reporting good things about them (vv 7-8).
    It a great thing to be told that you are doing a 'good job'. It motivates them/us to continue in the same way.
    Like this church, no matter how long ago, we like to be encouraged when we are doing something right.
    Keep the faith, follow the course, obey the Bible and, when we get to Heaven, we will also be so happy to hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant." (DRM 2/17/15)

    As God declares Himself to those around us by His Word and through our lives, we can become a bridge to those who do not yet know the love of Christ. (From Our Daily Bread, Bill Crowder, 2/17/15)

1:10    and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come.

    Wait. The church has been waiting for Jesus to come back for centuries. This verse promises that He will deliver us from the wrath to come. He can do this literally at the end, but also has delivered past believers from hell, which is the equivalent of wrath. (DRM 8/1/2000)

    Jesus is coming! This verse could lead to a long discussion! Clearly we are to anticipate His return - as it could be sudden, and we are also told that He will protect us or take us away from the wrath to come. These are important things to look forward to! (DRM 7/8/03)

2:2    but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition.

    BOLDNESS - something that I really need! It's hard to walk up to a stranger and tell him or her about Christ!
    OPPOSITION - what people have that don't like the message. I need the answers to their questions. (DRM 8/2/2000)

    As I occasionally become more bold, it is the result of testing where I have had little opposition so far. This verse shows Paul's boldness against opposition and past suffering. It takes a special person to be bold AFTER suffering. (DRM 7/9/03)

2:3    For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit;

    Here Paul was reminding the church at Thessalonica (and us) that what he was writing and telling them was all true  and came from God (v. 4) who knew/knows our heart. He wasn't lying.
    Everything we say to others should be true. If we lie, we sin. No matter what, when we share the gospel with others, we are to "preach" only what is contained in the Bible - nothing else. The best plan is to have a Bible with us at the time and show the listener exactly the words where the source material is. That's why it's important to give Bible references when a pastor speaks in a church. (DRM 3/22/15)

2:4    but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts.

    This sounds evangelical to me. Having been approved by God means that we have accepted Him as our Savior. Speak doesn't mean to gain all of this knowledge and not tell anyone! Just be sure of the facts. (DRM 8/3/2000)

    God wants us to speak for Him, using His words, to tell others about Christ's love. God wants the glory - and I should not believe that I am speaking on my own authority, but only His. God, check my heart for my devotion to You. (DRM 7/10/03)

    God knows everything about me. He knows what I think and say (even before I say it) and how much I love Him and His Son. He always wants to hear my prayers and will answer them - eventually. He wants my full devotion and will lead me to share His Son through my voice, actions and writing. (DRM 7/18/06)

2:5    For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed —God is witness — . . .

    God wants us to get to the point when talking to people. We can encourage people - but flattering speech can be deceitful if it is not genuine. Even some ministries I know of will make great presentations to acquire more money - their greed which can be used for non-serving purposes (e.g. big house, boat, etc.)
    In this case, we are to follow Paul's example - to be led by the Lord Jesus and not flatter people or be greedy about more money if the purpose is NOT for the Lord's work. (DRM 7/3/14)

2:6    nor did we seek glory for men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority.

    Who should we serve: man or God? Even working at a job, with little mental growth, we are ultimately serving God, by how we do the job. Let my co-workers see my devotion to God - tGbtg! (DRM 8/4/2000)

    Paul's [and hopefully mine] desire was not to preach the gospel just to be famous, but to lead others to Christ. He pointed out that, by knowing the Truth, he had the authority to assert himself if necessary. The Truth truly sets us free! (DRM 7/11/03)

2:7    But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children.

    Here Paul uses a great example of a nursing mother loving her new children - it's easy to visualize. Paul also loved the people in the church in the same way - as they were all of the same spiritual family. God=Jesus loves us in the same way, so there's no reason why we (I) shouldn't love other Christians in a similar way. (DRM 7/7/09)

2:8    Having thus a fond affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.

    This finally happened to me in the past few years. After getting to know someone really well, a Christian's desire should be to tell them the Gospel and share our lives with them - because of how much we care for them. God willing, I will have other friends like this to share my faith with. (DRM 8/5/2000)

2:9    For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 

    This clearly shows that Paul worked to pay his own expenses - which is my "problem" right now. . .  How can I earn a living and also be in ministry for the Lord? Will my ministry always be "part-time?" (DRM 7/12/03)

    Paul asserts here that he didn't depend on the gifts of the church for support. He worked and paid his own expenses, besides being a teacher/leader of the small church.
    Today I know of leaders who work in the outside world and also those who depend on the gifts/offerings of the congregation, and can see benefits in each option. (DRM 7/8/09)

2:10    You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers;

    Like Paul wrote here, leaders are to set the examples for believers. Leaders should be devout, upright and blameless in all of their dealings. "If" called to be a leader, I must be the best possible example of a life in Christ. (DRM 7/13/03)

2:11, 12    . . . just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, 12so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own Kingdom and glory.

    How to talk to new Christians. If I ever get to talk to a new Christian, I should be ready to provide some answers - as I know that's a time when a lot of questions are asked. (DRM 8/6/2000)

    This reminds me of what the work of a true believer in Christ should be doing with others in the Christian family: exhorting or talking about Jesus, encouraging - not putting down or discouraging others, and imploring - which I think is like questioning to be sure the facts are correct. There's a lot to it! (DRM 7/19/06)

2:13    And for this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received from us the word of God's message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.

    Whenever I have an opportunity to tell anyone about Christ, they have to know my message is from the Bible, the Lord, the King, God Himself. NOT my opinion. For this reason, I should have more memorization of verses. (DRM 8/7/2000)

2:14    For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, . . .

    Here Paul seems to be reviewing and complementing the church for dedication to the Lord Jesus. They imitated other good churches in Judea and stood up under persecution; thus showing their faith in Jesus.
    Could I (we) say the same? When criticized for my faith, do I defend my beliefs or keep quiet? I know I need His Spirit to keep me following the "narrow path." (DRM 7/9/09)

2:16    (the Jews) hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost. 

    This verse indicates that the Jews stopped Paul from preaching the gospel. Some people, even today, dislike the Jewish people - but the important part of this verse is the end: wrath HAS COME upon them. . . God already punished them. (DRM 7/14/03)

2:17    But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short while - in person, not in spirit - were all the more eager with great desire to see your face.

    Paul, Silvanus and Timothy (v. 1:1) were really what we would call church planters. One of the earlier churches was in Thessalonica, so that's the reason for this letter.
    If it was today, there might have been a phone call and we wouldn't have any record like this. Letters can last forever - at least in the Bible.
    Paul wanted to encourage the church (vv. 11-12), and remembering what they did in the past (vv. 13-16), he missed them and hoped to see them again soon.
    Encourage other believers like Paul did. It doesn't have to be a letter - a phone call will do. (DRM 2/23/17)

02:18    For we wanted to come to you - I, Paul, more than once - and yet Satan thwarted us.

    Like Paul, it seems that a lot of my Christian hopes and goals are currently being thwarted. Is the obstacle Satan - or does God have a better plan? Only God knows - and I must continue to trust solely in Him. (DRM 7/20/06)

2:19    For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?

    Yes, we are looking forward to seeing old friends again in the future, but, what are we looking most toward? Seeing Jesus Christ. This could be when we get to Heaven [death] or when He calls us from the Earth [rapture]. (DRM 8/8/2000)

    Paul missed the believers in Thessalonica, but here he points out that Jesus is truly the reason for our hope and joy - and to dwell on Him until His return. (DRM 7/15/03)

3:2, 3    . . . and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's fellow worker in the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith, 3so that no one would be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this.  

    Paul knew that he would be afflicted for his faith - as he was a leader and most in the world at the time didn't like Paul's activities.
    In these two verses, he wanted the church in Thessalonica to keep their faith - no matter how much he was suffering.
    Satan and the world today don't want the gospel to spread. Those in authority - e.g. pastors, church leaders - are more likely to suffer in some way when they teach the Truth in the Bible.
    Be sure to pray for your spiritual leaders. (DRM 9/4/17)

    [Re: 3:2]    Paul knew he had to stay in Athens. He was also concerned about the church in Thessalonica, so sent Timothy to them. I know that I can't do it all either, but still don't know who will be my "assistant" like Timothy was to Paul. (DRM 7/16/03)

3:4    For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you know.

    One of my fears is the subject of this verse. What affliction will beset me? While I try to mentally prepare for this, I have to learn that the Lord Jesus will bring me through it. (DRM 8/9/2000)

    I think affliction can come in at least two forms - mental (spiritual) and physical. I feel that I'm getting the first one now - and think it's better than the second - still, I must trust in the Lord Jesus for EVERY aspect of my being: heart, soul and mind. (DRM 7/21/06)

3:5    For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain.

    What could Paul endure no longer? To me it seems to be curiosity. He was curious and wanted to be sure that the Thessalonians had stayed in the faith - and not dissuaded by the devil or his demons.
    I know I face temptations nearly every day and hope and pray that my decisions are God-pleasing. (DRM 7/10/09)

3:6    But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always think kindly of us, longing to see us just as we also long to see you,

    Christians are a family. As soon as we know that others have come to faith, our love for them increases and we feel much closer to them than previously. God willing, I will have more Christian friends in the future. (DRM 8/10/2000)

3:7    for this reason, brethren, in all our distress and affliction we were comforted about you through your faith;

    This verse seems to indicate that Paul could have been in prison when he wrote this, but I don't see it in the previous verses, unless 2:17 comes close.
    No matter where Paul was, he had sent Timothy to check on the church (v. 2) and found out that they had kept the faith, which caused his comfort.
    People can get discouraged in the faith easily when things don't go the way THEY want them to. Being a Christian is not always easy. It's encouraging to other Christians when we go through trials and "keep the faith." (DRM 1/13/14)

3:8    for now we (Paul and assistants) really live, if you (Thessalonians) stand firm in the Lord. 

    While we can't lose our salvation, we can lose our faith by backsliding or disagreeing with God's plan. Like the Thessalonians, I am to stand firm in the faith and overcome the temptations that try to divert me from service to the Lord. (DRM 7/17/03)

3:9, 10    For what thanks can we render to God for you in return for all the joy with which we rejoice before our God on your account, 10as we night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face, and may complete what is lacking in your faith?

    Paul was pleased that the people in the church in Thessalonica had not lost their faith while he was away (v. 6). While he was suffering (v. 7) he now knew of their affection and love for him and was thankful. Paul hoped to see them again (v. 10) and continue to teach them more about the gospel.
    When we are suffering physically, emotionally, or spiritually we all need encouragement from others. Just knowing others are praying for you, like Paul knew (v. 6), helps us to face another day. Pray for others in need, and let them know it - it will encourage them. (DRM 9/3/16)

    [re: 3:10]    This is only the second half of a long sentence that starts as a question.
    This verse makes me think of a teacher (Paul) writing to his students - longing to give them more information to help them grow in the faith.
    Paul is glad for their progress so far and wants/longs to return to them.
    I also have longings to see friends, but the Lord has to direct the circumstances to allow the visit, and often it is delayed. (DRM 7/11/09)

3:11    Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you;

    Paul was referring to his hope that he could return to visit the church in Thessalonica. He knew that what he willed wasn't necessarily what God wills. IF God wills, then Paul would visit, if not then he wouldn't.
    I (we) also need to follow only His will and not our own. I have a challenge on specific requests and pray to hear and do only His=Jesus=God's will. (DRM 6/9/12)

3:12    and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all men, just as we also do for you,

    This is like yesterday's verse. May our love increase for one another, just like Paul had for the Thessalonians. Christians aren't supposed to hate anyone, but rather to "get along " with everyone. (DRM 8/11/2000)

    Matt. 22:39 instructs us to love our neighbors - which is similar to this verse. With my personal events of yesterday, I have seen and appreciated the care others have given me in need. Lord, may I help others as they have helped me. (DRM 7/18/03)

    "And they will know we are Christians by our Love," is a song I remember singing as a child. Here, Paul reminds the church of the Thessalonians (1:1) to love each other and all men. It sounds simple, but I have witnessed church splits and personal disagreements, so know it's something that we (I) need to keep working at. (DRM 7/22/06)

3:13    . . . so that He [Jesus] may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.

    This is the third verse of a prayer of Paul's for the church at Thessalonica. Since the prayer is a long sentence, you'd have to read it all together slowly.
    Paul desired that the church grow in love (v. 12) for each other, then the Lord would also love them for doing that.
    At the end of the verse Paul states that Jesus will come back with all His saints. For this to happen, the saints (Christian believers) have to be with him when He (Jesus) touches the earth. We who are alive at that time have to go up (Rapture) before we follow with Him down to touch the earth. (DRM 3/9/13)

4:1    Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.

    When we are following Christ as Christians, we are trying to "walk" in His footsteps. Even Paul used the term "walk" as following Jesus' lead on how to live our lives.
    Throughout life, we are instructed to keep reading the Bible and the Holy Spirit will teach us more and more things - in addition to what we learn from church leaders' sermons.
    Christian growth is a slow process. There's a lot of material in the Bible and it seems that every time we read a passage we find a new understanding of what was written.  (DRM 5/9/16)

    As believers, our desire should be to "live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way" (Col. 1:10) (from Our Daily Bread INSIGHT SIM KAY TEE 5/9/16)

4:2    For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

    The commandment that Paul is referring to here seem to be outlined in the following verses: Sanctification - referring to abstaining from sexual immorality (v. 3), love of the brethren (v. 9), and to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business (v. 11).
    We are on earth to share the hope we have in Jesus, however He leads us. There are certain behavioral things, like these, that are expected of Christians and, as followers of Jesus, we should find easy to follow.
    Set your heart on Jesus, His Holy Spirit will make you desire to live life for His glory. (DRM 10/19/16)

4:3    For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality;

    How do I know that I am growing in the Lord? I can spend a lot of time reading about Him, and get little out of it; OR I can pray for wisdom and try to listen to His Holy Spirit's voice and do His will, and grow to be more like Him. (DRM 7/19/03)

4:4, 5    . . . that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;

    After a person yields his/her life to Jesus=God, a new process begins - sanctification - or spiritual growth. Part of this process includes earthly lusts - which have to be given up.
    Verse five refers to these physical lusts, and in renouncing them, compares them to "the Gentiles," which refers to unbelievers.
    Our eyes are to focused only on Jesus. (DRM 2/11/12)

4:6    . . . and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.

    This is the last part of a four verse sentence. We, as believers, are not to steal or lie about other believers or anyone for that matter (we are all brothers in humankind). If we have a problem with someone else, the Lord knows and will correct it in His way in His timing. I still think that confession and forgiveness should be included to the other person. . . (DRM 7/12/09)

    (This seems to be related to sexual sin. . . ) Sexual sin defrauds or steals from another person. This would include both the other person and the present spouse if married, or the future spouse if currently single. - from Word of Life diary.

4:7    For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.

    I have had many impure thoughts over the years — and know they are sin — and have tried to confess them all to the Lord. God doesn't want our sins, He wants us to be totally sanctified - committed to Him and His glory. (DRM 8/12/2000)

    Certain parts of God's will to each of us is unclear, but other parts are VERY clear. God wants us to be sexually pure and to be sanctified - or continuously growing in our faith. I always need improvement on the second part! (DRM 7/23/06)

4:8    So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.

    This verse makes little sense on its own; it needs to be with at least verse seven, and really is the final part of the whole eight verse paragraph.
    If a person rejects the Gospel's message they aren't rejecting us personally, but the Person that we are here to share with them.
    When a person stands on the sidewalk and hands out Christian material, about 90% of people reject it and 10% take it. The people who reject the bookmarks, tracts or pamphlets  are rejecting the content of the literature (which contains the word Jesus) and not the person handing out the paper. They would not reject us in the USA if we then walked into their store and bought something. It's Who we are representing. (DRM 11/27/12)

4:9    Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;

    Love other Christians. It should come naturally, as we all are in the same family. Still, in some family's {congregations} disagreements arise. This verse seems to give God's opinion on that! I will try to love ALL people - Christian or non-Christian. (DRM 8/13/2000)

    Verse 10 includes "we urge you, brethren, to excel still more." No amount of love for others is too much. Brethren here refers to males AND females, who are believers. This is natural to me - as they seem like a part of my "family." (DRM 7/20/03)

4:10    . . . for indeed you do practice it [love] toward all brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more,

    There is no one that should be exempt from our Christian love. We are to love other believers and also non-believers, so they will see the "Love of God" in us; and also become a follower of Christ.
    If we think we are doing well, Paul instructs us to excel = try even more. Even the most difficult people react to love in time. (DRM 7/13/09)

4:11    and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you;

    To work in God's will is a difficult thing for me to do. Here it says to have "a quiet life and attend to your own business" and I think He wants me to be an evangelist (opposite?). I think this verse means NOT to run other people's lives, but only your own. (DRM 8/14/2000)

    Apparently this was what an "average Christian" should do with their lives in the first century. While jobs have changed over the years, the goal is the same - not to do anything that would be displeasing to the Lord, and provide for your needs. (DRM 7/21/03)

    Thousands of years have passed since this was written, and little has changed. The beginning of this complex sentence emphasizes to love brethren first, then . . . I think this could be clarification in my work search - but I have been quiet so long and want to tell others about Jesus. . . (DRM 7/24/06)

4:12    . . . so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.

    This is the second part of a two and a half verse sentence.
    As Christians, we are to love other believers (v. 9) even with our different opinions on various things. No outward conflicts between believers.
    If we lead a quiet life (v. 11) and do our own business, all will go well. By doing this, we will also behave properly to outsiders (non-believers) and God will take care of our needs. This will also be a witness to these unbelievers as to our difference in lifestyle. (DRM 9/27/14)

4:13    But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.

    This verse leads to one of the most encouraging paragraphs in the Bible.
    Think of someone who has died (fallen asleep) in your family or friends and was a devoted believer with faith in Jesus. When Jesus comes to take the church (faithful believers) home to Heaven, the dead will rise first, then we will follow - less than a second later. (DRM 3/20/12)

4:14    For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.

    Those who have "fallen asleep in Jesus" are people that were Christians when they "died" or stopped living on earth.
    The point in this verse is that since Jesus rose after His death, that His followers will also rise after their death. Thus we (our soul) never dies, but will live forever.
    If a person trusted in Jesus before death, they will be with Him for eternity. If not, then they will not be with Him - but rather to what they believed in - and will go to the other place - Hell. (DRM 10/22/11)

4:15    For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.

    This refers to our bodily resurrection at the rapture of the church. If we (I) die before the rapture, God=Jesus will give me a new spiritual body. At the rapture, all the remaining believers will be taken away - bodily - and will join the others who died before us. (DRM 7/14/09)

4:16    For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a Shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first.

    This answers one of two questions. Yes, believers will be with Jesus after they die. But where are they now? This seems to refer to bodily resurrection upon Jesus' return to earth - and what a great day that will be!!! I like verse 17 even more. (DRM 7/25/06)

4:17    Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.

    "caught up" is commonly referred to as "raptured." This verse is probably the second most important one that directs my life (after John 3:16). The great mystery is when, but it's always in view, because life can end suddenly at any time. (DRM 8/15/2000)

    This has to be one of the most hopeful verses in the Bible. No matter what happens, death or rapture, I know I am going to be with the Lord at that moment. What an event it will be when the trumpet blows and all go to Heaven! (DRM 7/22/03)

4:18    Therefore comfort one another with these words.

    This verse means little or nothing out of context.
    To me, this paragraph (v. 13-18) is the most encouraging passage topic in the Bible.
    At any moment, we who are alive, and have trusted in Jesus as our Savior, can be taken out of the world in what is called the rapture. Relatives and friends that we knew and were Christians that "died" earlier will also meet us on that day.
    What an exciting day that will be! (DRM 8/6/12)

    Confidence in God's presence is our comfort. (from Our Daily Bread, 8/6/12)

5:1, 2    Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.

    When? How long, Lord? These are questions I ask all the time. Others all want to know the same thing and try to figure out a date. The Lord Jesus doesn't want us to sit and wait, but to keep working and sharing His good news until He returns. Whatever day God chooses will be a surprise - it will be when we DON'T expect it - when they say "Peace and Safety" (v. 3).
    Always be ready. Jesus WILL return - it could be today or next year - meanwhile we are to keep sharing the love of Jesus. (DRM 12/17/16)

5:3    While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

    This is what will happen to "them." When I see the phrase "peace and safety" referring to Israel, I cringe, knowing that something will happen "soon." Let me be ready for the "Day of the Lord." [verse 2] (DRM 8/16/2000) I think that the "they" in this verse refers to all unbelievers, not just those in Israel. (DRM 12/5/04)

    We [believers in Jesus] know that on the day of the Lord's coming, they [unbelievers] will be surprised at what happened, then it will be too late. I should always expect that it could be today - especially with the world events as they are. (DRM 7/23/03)

    Peace and safety is not what Israel or the world has today - it's something that many in the world say they would give anything to have. It's what they want. At some time a leader will come that will be able to fulfill their requests, then, after 3½ years it will be worse, as it would be the antichrist. (DRM 7/26/06)

5:4-6    But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day [of the Lord] would overtake you like a thief; 5for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.

    [Re: 5:4-5]    Christian believers know that Jesus is coming back to get the remaining believers on earth someday soon. Non-believers are in spiritual darkness about this, because of their disbelief - untrusting attitude.
    Jesus is the Light. Christians follow the Light. Unbelievers do not follow the Light - they are in spiritual darkness. (DRM 7/15/09)

    [Re: 5:4-6]    This section refers to the "Day of the Lord," and how Paul thought it could come at any moment. With Paul's thinking in the A.D. 50's that Jesus would return imminently (4:16), shouldn't we feel even more so nearly 2,000 years later?
    The people of darkness are unbelievers and are not prepared for His return. As Christians, we are to be ready whenever that day arrives. We are to be sober physically and spiritually with anticipation for the day - it's coming has to be very soon! (DRM 2/6/17)

5:7, 8    For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.

    Paul is writing here about "The Day of the Lord." In a prior verse he tells us that we (as believers) are sons of light and sons of day (v. 5), thus it refers to our spiritual condition.
    This verse seven seems to be taken literally or spiritually, as most people physically sleep at night and most people who drink, do later in the day also.
    Verse eight reminds us of our spiritual condition again. As believers, we want to be sober and show our hope of salvation to others - through faith and love.
    Our days are limited. The world needs to see Jesus' love in us. (DRM 10/17/17)

5:9, 10    For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.

    Now that we are in the "last days" (I'm convinced), there are so many people who may or may not be preachers for the Lord Jesus - that say we will go through the tribulation and God's wrath like everyone else - then the rapture will come. This verse (v. 9) clearly states that God's wrath will not be on His own family of believers.
    Everything in the Bible is absolutely true. What is stated here is very clear. God's wrath will not be on believers. He says so. I believe what is written. (DRM 1/1/16)

5:11    Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

    The context of this verse is explaining "the day of the Lord" (v. 2) and how to be prepared (v. 3-10).
    While the text refers to Jesus' soon return, in this case it's appropriate even out of context.
    We should always try to encourage each other in our faith walk. We should encourage other believers and also the unbelievers we know. Showing our Christian love to all people is like showing Christ's love for us. Perhaps they will notice how we are different and also want to follow Jesus. (DRM 5/5/16)

5:12, 13    But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.

    [Re 5:12] I'll admit it. I don't pray for the pastor of the church enough. The pastor has to study and prepare a sermon every week - and make it interesting too! I will have to add his name to my list of people who need prayer. (DRM 8/17/2000)

    [Re 5:12]I'm guilty. I don't pray enough for the pastors of the churches that I attend. Here is the request that I do so. Since I am one of thousands in the church, I don't feel that I know the leaders personally - but that doesn't mean I shouldn't still pray for them. . . (DRM 7/27/06)

    This is a reminder to respect the people who are teaching you the Word of God at church and any other settings. These people love the Lord Jesus and want to teach you all they have learned.
    In today's world there are many false teachers. We all need discernment on what is being spoken, and if their word doesn't match with the teachings in the Bible, go to another church that teaches the truth. Thus the final sentence (v. 13): "Live in peace with one another." - We should do this in all aspects of life. (DRM 10/20/16)

5:14    And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men. 

    Everyone is different. Some constantly criticize, some won't obey laws, some are always fearful, some are sickly etc. What can we do? By telling and showing them God's love, we can be an encouragement to them - and lead them to faith. (DRM 7/24/03)

5:15    See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.

    Here is a "test of faith." Someone does something evil or nasty to you. An unbeliever would certainly consider retaliating and doing something to the initiator. As believers we are told (here) to forgive the person and still love them in the Lord. Let God take care of their "problem," and show them the love of Christ. (DRM 7/16/09)

5:16, 17    Rejoice always; 17pray without ceasing;

    This is part of another list of what Christian believers should do.
    Sometimes it's hard to 'rejoice always' when things aren't going as well as hoped. Still, there's always something to be thankful for and we (I) should think of that.
    The Lord wants us to be in continual prayer - more like the attitude of sharing our life totally with Him. That will keep our tongue under more control, and we will want to do only things that please Him. This is easier said than done - but we (I) should keep attempting it. (DRM 4/23/12)

5:18    in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

    A thankful heart. Even when things DON'T go the way I think they should or want them to, I must thank the Lord because He knows the "big picture." I have so much to thank God for when I just look at my surroundings. (DRM 8/18/2000)

5:19    Do not quench the Spirit;

    Each verse today [5:16-22] is a different directive. Quench -= stifle in the dictionary. Lately, I've felt that I am doing just that. I know a direction He seems to be leading me, but I'm not yet following quickly enough. Lord, increase my faith in this need! (DRM 7/25/03)

    These verses are different directives about "Christian Conduct." I chose verse 19 today because sometimes I feel that the Holy Spirit may be directing me to do something, and I may not be doing it. This usually involves giving bookmarks to people. When the Holy Spirit is loud, I always try to obey, but I need more help on the still small voice - is it Him? (DRM 7/28/06)

5:20    . . . do not despise prophetic utterances.

    This continues a series of Christian directives. Since I like prophecy so much, I wouldn't despise others' proclamation of them.
    I understand that in some churches people stand up and share what they have heard from the Lord concerning prophecy and other things. In these cases, we need discernment to be sure of the Source. (DRM 10/22/12)

5:21    But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;

    This goes with verse 20 above.
    I really enjoy prophecy and want to see how God will fulfill all the prophecies written in His book. As things keep happening more rapidly, I wonder about the spiritual application to Jesus' return.
    For rapid events like this I've gone to YouTube and have heard lots of commentaries on events of the day. The problem is knowing if the source is from a true Biblical perspective or not. Do some of these events have anything to do with the end times? Discernment needed. (DRM 3/11/13)

5:22    abstain from every form of evil.

    All of the verses from v. 12-22 are short directives on Christian conduct. This isn't a sins list, but rather a list of things that good people would generally do. e.g. verse 16 "Rejoice always." This verse (v. 22) seems to cover all things not listed above. If we followed evil desires, we would be sinning against the Lord. (DRM 7/17/09)

    . . . verse 22 is not saying that we should avoid appearing as though we are doing evil. It is saying that we should avoid every type of evil. (from Word of Life Diary)

5:23    Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    This was Paul's prayer to the church at Thessalonica at the end of this letter.
    Our desire should be the same for ourselves as Paul's desire was for that church . . . we should want to be sanctified daily. We want to be ready for Jesus' return, just as Paul anticipated.
    Clearly Paul thought Jesus would return very soon. It has been over 1,900 years since he wrote this, and Jesus' return is still future - but we have far more signs today that He will be here soon - thus the feeling of imminency dwells in true believers.  (DRM 12/2/15)

5:24    Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

    Since Dec. 22, 1999, I've felt the Lord calling me to do "something." I've been working on the preparation for so long now that I wonder if the call will expire. Thank Jesus for this verse that "He also will bring it to pass." (DRM 8/19/2000)

    This is a great verse for my current situation! If [and I'm not quite sure He has] God wants me to serve Him in the way I feel led, then He will bring it to pass - even though I don't know how He will do it. My job is to listen and do His will. (DRM 7/26/03)

    God calls each of us to do different things. Hearing His call sometimes is harder. I think it has to do with our inner desires and Holy Spirit interaction. I moved to Chicago because I felt His call for me to serve Him. How will this be realized? (DRM 7/29/06)

5:25    Brethren, pray for us.

    Paul wrote this letter. He also had Silvanus and Timothy with him, so they were "us."
    Paul had plenty of reasons to ask for prayer as he was often traveling and there was plenty of opposition in various places that he wrote about.
    While we don't have to pray for Paul today, it's good to pray for others that do similar ministries. Think about the work the leader of your church does, or missionaries and others that have needs that we know God can provide.
    Pray. God listens. (DRM 6/23/17)

5:27    I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren.

    Today when we think of a letter, we think of a piece of paper that goes from one person to another - two individuals. Paul wanted his letter to be read to all in the church at Thessalonica - as it contained important teachings on Jesus' return, etc.
    Everything in our Bible is important, and God wants us (me) to share the Good News with all who will listen. (DRM 7/18/09)