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Summary: And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

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1Th 1:1-7 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians [which is] in God the Father and [in] the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

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EXAMPLES TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE

all these things these people were can YOU be

notice what they were like and WHY they were so

I. THE REMARKS ABOUT THESE WONDERFUL CHRISTIANS

Paul described the Thessalonians as people who had the faith that works through their lives.

They did a service which was stimulated into action by love.

They had strong hope in the return of Jesus Christ, having patience and confidence.

Paul said he knew these people were the election of God.

There was little doubt due to their Christian behaviour.

Make these traits your traits!

Notice next how they received Paul, and receive the ministry here as they did there, and you will be like they were.

II. HOW THEY RECEIVED PAUL AT THE FIRST

When Paul came to preach the Gospel to these people for the first time, he came not just in word but in power. The Holy Ghost manifested through Paul.

This is much more than reciting the Gospel

Paul spoke in anointing of the Spirit.

The people had absolute confidence in Paul.

1The 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

These people knew that Paul preached to their good.

They saw that his heart was immersed into helping them.

They decided to live for God in the same manner Paul lived for God.

1The 1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord,

They watched how Paul lived so dedicated to God, and followed him as he followed the Lord.

Watch the ministry and do not excuse yourself as saying, "Well they are preachers, I cannot be dedicated like that."

Many times people will say the saints cannot be as dedicated to God as the preachers, but the Thessalonians were!

III. DURING HARDSHIPS, THEY WERE TRUE

1The 1:6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

The Thessalonians were in the midst of hardships and persecutions for accepting the Gospel.

They were afflicted.

They received the word with joy of the Holy Ghost.

When trials come our way, only the ones who truly are serious about God and follow Him, as men like Paul did, can stand against opposition victoriously.

The joy of the Lord is our strength.

We get that joy of the Lord ONLY WHEN WE DRAW WATERS FROM THE WELLS OF SALVATION.

Isai 12:2-3 Behold, God [is] my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH [is] my strength and [my] song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

Those who draw waters from the wells are serious about living for God.

They do not simply attend church.

They get something out of the WORD.

The joy of the Lord was truly their strength.

OUR STRUGGLES ARE NOT AGAINST PEOPLE BURNING OUR HOUSES DOWN BECAUSE WE ARE CHRISTIANS... WE FACE A DIFFERENT ATTACK OF THE DEVIL.

The biggest trap people fall for is being bothered by what another believer lives like or does. a. Jesus knew this was the biggest problem and out of all the points made in the Lord’s prayer, He repeated this one:

Matt 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

..because after He finished the prayer, He returned to this topic and said...

Matt 6:14-15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

the biggest problem too many people have is lack of forgiveness.

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