Summary: Paul thanked God for his brothers and sisters in Thessalonica. 1- He was thankful for their work of faith 2- He was thankful for their labor of love 3- He was thankful for their endurance of hope
INTRO.- ILL.- Bill, Jim and Scott were at a convention together and were sharing a large suite on the top of a 75-story skyscraper.
After a long day of meetings, they were shocked to hear that the elevators in their hotel were broken and they would have to climb 75 flights of stairs to get to their room.
Bill said to Jim and Scott, "Let’s break the monotony of this unpleasant task by concentrating on something interesting. I’ll tell jokes for 25 flights, Jim can sing songs for the next 25 flights and Scott can tell sad stories for the rest of the way."
At the 26th floor, Bill stopped telling jokes and Jim began to sing. At the 51st floor Jim stopped singing and Scott began to tell sad stories.
"I will tell my saddest story first," he said. "I left the room key in the car!" Wouldn’t you love to hate him? HERE’S ANOTHER.
ILL.- A Redneck buys a ticket and wins the lottery. He goes to Austin to claim it and the man verifies his ticket number.
The Redneck says, ’’I want my $20 million.’’ The man replied, ’’No, sir. It doesn’t work that way. We will give you a million today and then you’ll get the rest spread out for the next 19 years.’’
The Redneck said, ’’Oh, no. I want all my money right now! I won it and I want it.’’ Again, the man explain that he would only get a million that day and the rest during the next 19 years. The Redneck, furious with the man, screams out, ’’Look, I want my money! If you’re not going to give me my $20 million right now, then I want my dollar back!’’
I think we all would say that guy has a problem. But we all have a problem or several problems. We all make mistakes in life and some real humdingers. Consequently, it’s easy to focus on those failures and flubs, but somehow we need to look at the positive things in people’s lives and be thankful for them.
Phil. 2:3-4 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."
Consider others better than yourselves. How can you do that? By focusing on the good in people’s lives!
ILL.- For example, my son-in-law, Chris Santasiere, is a better man than I am and in many ways. He married my daughter, which was a good choice. He is a very patient individual. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him get upset over much of anything. He’s expressed some displeasure but I’ve never seen him blow his cork! He’s an excellent father to my grandchildren. I thought I was pretty good father but after watching him with his kids, I think he is a better father than I was.
Is Chris perfect? No, but I see so many good qualities in him and that’s about all I see. Consequently, it’s easy for me to think highly of him. This is what we should do, must do in our relationships with others.
PROP.- Paul thanked God for his brothers and sisters in Thessalonica.
1- He was thankful for their work of faith
2- He was thankful for their labor of love
3- He was thankful for their endurance of hope
I. HE WAS THANKFUL FOR THEIR WORK OF FAITH
2We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.
3We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
ILL.- A guy stopped at a local gas station and, after filling his tank, he paid the bill and bought a soft drink. He stood by his car to drink his cola and watched a couple of men working along the roadside. One man would dig a hole two or three feet deep and then move on. The other man came along behind him and filled in the hole. While one was digging a new hole, the other was 25 feet behind filling in the hole. The men worked right past the guy with the soft drink and went on down the road.
"I can’t stand this," said the man tossing the can into a trash container and heading down the road toward the men.
"Hold it, hold it," he said to the men. "Can you tell me what’s going on here with all this digging and refilling?"
"Well, we work for the government and we’re just dong our job," one of the men said.
"But one of you is digging a hole and the other fills it up. You’re not accomplishing anything. Aren’t you wasting the taxpayers’ money?"