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Friday, December 20, 2013

Saved by Shoplifting (Insights)

Before reading these insights, I encourage you to do the Bite Size Study Saved by Shoplifting.

Bible Study

The 10 verses below reveal the wonder and beauty of God's work in the lives of those who follow Him. Enjoy the miracle of these converted lives and answer these questions: 
♥ What 3 characteristics and 3 motivations of these converts are found in verse 3. 
1. work produced by faith.
2. labor prompted by love.
3. endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 
  • Faith, love and hope--the three things that endure into eternity (1 Corinthians 13:13) because they are characteristics of the heart.
  • Work, labor, endurance--visible aspects of a changed heart.
evangelism, sharing Christ, shoplifting
♥ What other qualities of these new believers does Paul list in the remaining verses? 
1. They began acting like Christians. By observing and imitating mature believers and by turning away from pagan idol worship, they began living like Christians. 
2. They experienced joy in the midst of suffering. Their faith was real because it survived difficult circumstances.
3. They became a model and a testimony of God's truth. One purpose of being a disciple is so we can evangelize and disciple others.

♥ Take some time to think about your own faith. How is your story similar the converts in this passage? How is it different? 
Everyone's faith story is different, some seeing immediate and drastic change, others seeing a slowly building change. But genuine faith always brings changed attitudes and behavior. 

When I became a believer, my life changed drastically and immediately. Without anyone telling me to do these things, I got rid of dirty books in my library, I began regularly reading the Bible and praying, I began confessing sin and dealing deliberately with wrong heart attitudes, and I started attending a Bible study and prayer group each week. God was working on me inside out and I was hungry to learn more about Him.

My husband, on the other hand, grew very gradually, moving from his old life to his new life in Christ. But he has become a godly man of the Lord.

What about you? How did your transformation take place?

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10: Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you. 2 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3 We 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. 4 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. 

copyright 2013, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com
All Scripture NIV unless otherwise noted

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