Our children and grandchildren live out of town. We wish we could see them more often, and sometimes that “wish” turns into a very real “need.” We need to see them. If you have ever moved away from family and friends or sent a child to college, you understand this need. There’s an empty place that needs to be filled with hugs, real face time (not the computer kind), and their presence. When we say goodbye, it helps me to have a date set to see them again; it makes the goodbye seem less permanent.
- When have you needed to see someone you love? What were the circumstances, and how long did you have to go before you saw him or her?
READ THE WORD: 1 Thessalonians 2:17-20 (ESV)
17 But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, 18 because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? 20 For you are our glory and joy.
- What was it that increased Paul’s desire to see the Thessalonians (vs. 17)?
- Who kept Paul from being able to see them (vs. 18)?
- Paul had ministered to the Thessalonians and had seen them grow in their faith. How did he describe his feelings towards them (vss. 19-20)?
- Who have you built a relationship with and seen come to faith and grow in faith?
RESPOND TO GOD
Paul called the Thessalonians his hope, joy, glory, crown. Ask anyone in ministry what his or her greatest reward is and you might get a similar answer from each one. Seeing lives changed, hurts healed, hope restored, and knowing they will see these people in heaven makes being in ministry worth any stress. God doesn’t limit the chance to share his grace to those in full-time ministry. He brings people into each of our lives every day that we have the opportunity to impact with his truth and love. We need only to keep our eyes open.
- Thank God for those he brings into your life who need to experience his love.
- Ask God to keep Satan from thwarting any ways that you can influence others with God’s truth.