1 Thessalonians 3:1-13 Discussion Guide

1 Thessalonians 3

Group Discussion Questions:

As you reflect on the sermon this week, how did the Holy Spirit speak to your heart? Was there a verse/passage that stood out to you? Share why the verse or passage struck you.

In a Nutshell

Paul desperately wanted to go back and visit the Thessalonians to see how they were doing. He was overjoyed when he found out his prayers for their growth and love were being answered.[1]

Chapter 3 of 1 Thessalonians is a beautiful model of love—the love of the Thessalonians for each other, and the love of Paul for these new believers. The love described and demonstrated through the narrative of this chapter is strong, active, unwavering. It persists through persecution and hardship. This love gives selflessly to others. It never fades but strengthens through time.[2]

Read and discuss verses 1-5

Anxiety

  • In this passage we find Paul being anxious. But didn’t he write elsewhere, “Don’t be anxious about anything, but in everything pray, … and God’s peace will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”? How do we square these passages?
  • What proactive steps did Paul take in dealing with his anxiety?
    What are some implications for us personally?
  • Terry stated that Paul was anxious and Paul trusted God. Paul felt alone and Paul had deep relationship with Christ. Do these statements encourage you? If so, how?
    What implications do they have for your own life?

Encouragement

  • What was Paul’s main concern with his friends? What are the implications for us?
  • Paul sent Timothy to “strengthen and encourage them in their faith,” but why, specifically, did they need it?
  • During difficult times we all need God to pour courage into us through his people.
    How have you experienced this in your own walk with Christ?
  • How could you let others know that you care about their faith and growth?
    Why is this important to do?

Read and discuss verses 6-10: Timothy’s Report

  • How did it go with the Thessalonians? What was Timothy’s report?
  • How did it encourage Paul?

Read and discuss verses 11-12: Paul’s Prayer

  • From this prayer, what do you notice about what spiritual maturity looks like?
  • Two things mark spiritual maturity: love for others and holiness (love for God revealed in a set-apart lifestyle). What are the implications of these two things for your own life?

Application: How did the Holy Spirit speak to your heart today? What personal implications can you make? What do I need God to do in me or through me as a result of today’s discussion?

 

[1] Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, p. 36). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[2] Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, p. 38). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

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