Encounter With God Devotional

Scripture Union Encounter With God 4th February 2023

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Scripture Union Encounter With God 4th February 2023

Encounter With God Daily Devotional for 4 February 2023

Read and Digest Today’s Encounter With God Daily Devotional Message for Today.


SCRIPTURE: 1, 2 Thessalonians

Luke tells how Paul and his companions came to Thessalonica, a town on the northern coast of the Aegean Sea, near Philippi. In response to his preaching in the synagogue over a few weeks, ‘some of the Jews’ joined them, ‘as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women’.
This was the start of the young church to which Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians, probably a few months after he had left them and arrived in Corinth, around 50. This letter was followed at some later date by 2 Thessalonians. Paul’s reference to how the Thessalonians ‘turned to God from idols’ suggests that the church was probably dominated by the Gentile converts.

Luke describes how ‘other Jews’ in Thessalonica reacted with violence.
The Thessalonians’ experience of significant persecution is a recurring theme in both letters: much of Paul’s theology seems to develop from this. Their Christ-like endurance and joy in the midst of suffering are evidence of their calling and demonstrations of God’s work in them. Christ’s longed-for salvation, and his judgement, are dominant themes, but their hope in the Lord is not for the future only: Paul writes of how the Holy Spirit empowers and sanctifies their present life, individually and communally.

2 Thessalonians contains a cryptic section concerning the ‘man of lawlessness’, which can put readers off.
However, the letter is interesting for its hidden christology: a benediction puts ‘our Lord Jesus Christ’ in front of God our Father; and the overthrowing of the lawless one is done by Jesus, in place of God, in an allusion to Isaiah.

Above all, these letters, 1 Thessalonians in particular, overflow with a sense of joy. Paul is delighted by the faith, love and hope of the new converts.

Victor Paul Furnish, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, Abingdon Press, 2007
Gene L Green, The Letters to the Thessalonians, Apollos, 2002
Ben Witherington III, 1 and 2 Thessalonians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary, Eerdmans, 2006

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