Summary: When we really care about those we influence for God, we experience a broad-spectrum of intense feelings.
The Emotional Intensity of Caring
1. Pastor Marc Axelrod shared this: ?
My nephew Justin is a Marine. Right now, he’s going through boot camp. And other than me, he is probably the only Christian in the family. And so Jeanne and I have been praying for him alot. It’s the first time he’s been out on his own. And we’re concerned about what kind of habits he’s going to pick up. And how he’ll handle temptation. And alcohol. And women. And all that stuff. And Grandpa told me, "Oh, there’s nothing to worry about. I’m sure he’s doing what every normal young man does while he’s in the service."??And I’m thinking, "Thanks a lot, Grandpa! That’s not exactly what I was looking to hear!"
And so Jeanne and I have been asking God to help Justin get stronger in his faith.?And last week, we got a letter from him. And this is what he said:??"I want you to know that I go to church every Sunday and it’s a relief for an hour. We get four hours on Sunday to ourselves and church takes up one of those hours...They sing songs, but they also have sermons talking about Christ. It’s weird though, because I pray every night, and the next day is better than that day. But there were a couple of days when I was so tired that a little bit after I hit the rack I fell asleep and didn’t pray. And the next day was hard. The platoon got in trouble a lot. Every night before we go to bed, we get into a group and pray. But when its time to get into bed, I pray by myself, too. I pray in the bed, and that helps me alot the next day."?
Let me tell you: This letter made my day. Justin’s strong faith in Jesus is an encouragement to me. Because now I know that all those years of praying for him and talking to him about the Lord weren’t in vain. That God’s been working in his life the whole time we’ve been apart. And by him standing firm in his faith, it makes me feel stronger in my faith! (from Sermon Central)
2. Pastor Axelrod’s experience was similar to Paul’s. Paul was worried about the Thessalonian believers, drying to hear from them. When he heard the good news that they were standing firm, it gave him great joy.
3. Every believer has or should have a ministry. We reach people, we help people, we nurture people.
4. Sometimes they grow; sometimes they deteriorate; sometimes they blossom, sometimes they wash out.
Main Idea: When we really care about those we influence for God, we experience a broad-spectrum of intense feelings.
TS----------> Paul was no different; he experienced a full range of emotions because he cared.
I. A Holy WORRY and FEAR (1-5)
A. Stated His Anxiety UNASHAMEDLY (1a)
• After being forced to leave Thessalonica, Paul, Silas, and Timothy ministered in Berea. Then Paul left Silas and Timothy behind in Berea because the hostile Jewish leaders had started trouble for Paul in Berea.
The Berean Christians sent an escort with Paul into Athens, and then they departed. In time, Timothy joined him, but he had no word about the Thessalonian believer.
Paul could get no current information out of Thessalonica. He was both worried and afraid.