Summary: 10th in series, "Left Behind: 1 & 2 Thessalonians." Looks at being a part of God’s Team in the Last Days.
Edward B. Rust, Jr., State Farm CEO, & James Owens Caterpillar CEO
To highlight its annual picnic one year, a company rented two racing shells and challenged a rival company to a boat race. The rival company accepted. On the day of the picnic, everyone entered into the spirit of the event. Women wore colorful summer dresses and big, floppy hats. Men wore straw skimmers and white pants. Bands played and banners waved. Finally the race began. To the consternation of the host company, the rival team immediately moved to the front and was never headed. It won by 11 lengths. The management of the host company was embarrassed by its showing and promptly appointed a committee to place responsibility for the failure and make recommendations to improve the host team’s chances in a rematch the following year. The committee appointed several task forces to study various aspects of the race. They met for three months and issued a preliminary report. In essence, the report said that the rival crew had been unfair.
"They had eight people rowing and one coxswain steering and shouting out the beat," the report said. "We had one person rowing and eight coxswains." The chairman of the board thanked the committee and sent it away to study the matter further and make recommendations for the rematch. Four months later
Some Folks don’t understand what it means to be on a team. In today’s text as Paul begins to wind down his letter to the Thessalonians, to me it begins to sound a lot like a coach’s halftime speech, or a general’s letter to rally the troops—he reminds them of the privileges and responsibilities of being on the team.
He begins with…
1. A Request
v. 1 Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. 2And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith.
Paul says “you’re my support team—I need you to participate in my mission—because it’s really our mission.
Notice that in doing so he highlights their transformation from prospects to participants: “pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.”
No team consists only of the front line players. Basketball, football, movies, the military.(3/10 combat/support)
All of us who have trusted in Christ are part of the team and prayer is one of our solemn responsibilities. Jesus said we should pray for the harvest and for the laborers.
Specifically Paul requests that we should pray for the opportunity for the message to be shared and that it will be well received.
He further asks for prayers of protection. from those who would try to stop the message.
We need to be lifting these same prayers for those who spread the word. Pastors, missionaries—our young people in the schools. that they have opportunity and boldness, that the message be received and that the Lord will have his hand upon them.
Being part of god’s team means we are part of the prayer support.