1) 2 Thessalonians 1:4 "Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring."
We are supposed to be humble...right? Should Paul really boast about a church?
He is not boasting about his work, but he is boasting about God's work. It is ok to brag about the work of God, because it isn't really bragging. God can back it up! When was the last time you boasted about God's work?
Read the article below, and if you are pressed for time just read the last couple of paragraphs:
2) Read 2 Theassalonians 1:6-7 "God is just: he will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to those who are troubled, and to us as well."
How do you think the Thessalonians dealt with the temptation to lash out against their persecutors?
Romans 12:19 "Do not take revenge my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay' says the Lord."
How can god help us to control our personal need for revenge?
3) Read 2 Thessalonians 1:11 "With this in mind we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith."
We struggle against our sinful nature, and our own flaws to be counted worthy of God's calling. Can you think of any areas in your life where you could use God's help to improve, and fulfill your calling?
When you pray for God's help to fulfill your calling you pray that his Kingdom would come. Hearwhat Luther says in the small Catechism:
"God's kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by his grace we believe his holy Word and lead godly lives here in time and in eternity."
Luther's Small Catechism with Explanation, "Lord's Prayer", St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House (1986).