This Week: 2 Thessalonians 3:3
Date: October 9, 2016
Series: While We Wait
This Week’s Resources:
This Week’s Lighthouse Lesson
Overview of this Lesson
This week is Week 2 of GO Month at First Family. In our Lighthouses, we will devote specific time each week to praying for one of our partner families. This week our prayer focus will be European Missions with the DeGraaf Family and the Haney Family.
Memory Verse for This Week
But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.– 2 Thessalonians 3:3
Authenticity (John 13:33-34): I know and understand biblical truths and transfer these truths into everyday life. Who I am on the inside and outside is a pure reflection of Christ and His Word.
This Week’s Take Home Truth
“Even when our enemies attack us, the Lord is always faithful to spiritually protect His people and sovereignly accomplish His purpose.”
1. As you have traveled throughout your life, what place have you visited that, to you, seems most like heaven on earth?
2. Can you recall a time when someone said something or wrote something to you that was of great comfort? Explain your answer.
3. Looking back at your notes from this week’s sermon, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?
Make sure you ask this question this week. It gives people the opportunity to discuss questions or issues that come up beyond the written questions. People’s responses can often lead into one of the questions in the “Digging Deeper” section. Also, some weeks this question will result in a lot of discussion, other weeks, not so much.
Read the Text (2 Thessalonians 3:1-3)
This last major section of the epistle called on its readers to live in the light of the truth previously revealed and by the grace of God just invoked. Read 2 Thessalonians 3:1-3.
2 Thessalonians 3:1-3 (ESV)
1 Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, 2 and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. 3But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.
In this section, feel free to develop your own questions to help guide your group’s discussion. Below are some suggestions. Remember, if you are hearing from everyone in your group, chances are you won’t have to time to discuss every question. You may start with one that catches your attention so you don’t run out of time. For example, it’s not odd to start with Question #6, then go to Question #5 and if you have time come back to Question #4.
4. In what ways may fellow believers fail us during our times of greatest need?
We have all found ourselves in situations where we were disappointed by the response of fellow believers. Sometimes (not always, thankfully) when we are in times of trials and difficulty, we discover that our friends and family just isn’t there for us.
This can take on many expressions. They fail to…
• pray for us
• encourage us
• support us
• speak kindly to us
• help us
5. What does 2 Thessalonians 3:3 tell us about the Lord?
While others may fail us, the Lord is faithful to us. In fact, Paul is making this contrast explicitly. In 3:2 he is describing “perverse and evil men” who do not have faith, BUT 3:3 the Lord is faithful. Where others fail us, the Lord will never fail us; He is faithful.
Paul describes the following things the Lord does for the believer— “The Lord will establish you and guard you from the evil one.
• The word establish means to strengthen, secure, make stable or firm, and set fast.
• The word guard means to protect and keep.
• The word evil can refer both to evil behavior and to the evil one, that is, Satan.
The point is this: the Lord is faithful even if we fail to help one another. God will strengthen and guard us against Satan and his evil followers. In fact, the Lord will strengthen and guard us against all evil no matter what it is. Even if the evil seems to be conquering us, it will not—not in the final analysis.
6. How do the following verses give us confidence in the Lord and His faithfulness to us?
God will deliver us by working all things out for good.
Romans 8:28 (ESV) And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
God will deliver us by overcoming our failures and completing His work of salvation in us.
Philippians 1:6 (ESV) And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 2:18
God will deliver us by overcoming our failures and completing His work of salvation in us.
2 Timothy 2:18 (ESV) who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.
“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me; Thou wilt stretch forth Thy hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Thy right hand will save me. The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Thy lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Thy hands” (Psalm 138:7-8).
7. What can we learn about missions and evangelism from 2 Thessalonians 3:1-3?
Missions are concerned with the reception as well as the proclamation of the message. This is why people who are committed to global mobilization pray that the gospel will be honored, and that the missionaries will be delivered from wicked and evil men. There is in missions an interplay between five groups.
- The intercessors pray.
- The missionaries preach.
- Some hearers honor the word by believing it.
- Others refuse the message and oppose those who bring it.
- And the Lord is Faithful to both his message (the gospel) and the messengers.
These questions are given to prompt both reflection and learning on a personal level, and should likely be completed individually and apart from your regular group time.
8. Looking back at this week’s teaching and study, what’s the most important thing to remember?
9. In your quiet time this week, review the following verses to better understand the faithfulness of the Lord.
The Lord Is Faithful
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,
For the word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.
Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord, your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!
He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.
O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation, the servant of rulers: “Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
1 Corinthians 1:9
God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Thessalonians 5:23–24
23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
2 Thessalonians 3:3
But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.
Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
1 Peter 4:19
Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.
Tips on Group Prayer
Prayer is an important part of being in Lighthouse. Over the years we’ve found that group prayer goes better when we follow three simple guidelines.
1. WE PRAY FOR ONE TOPIC AT A TIME – Anyone in the group is free to introduce a prayer request either before prayer begins or during the prayer time. Once a topic is introduced, the group focuses on that request alone. Once it’s covered, the group moves on to the next topic or prayer request.
2. PRAY MORE THAN ONCE – Because the group is focusing on one topic at a time, each person is encouraged to pray several times during the prayer time for those topics they feel most led to pray about. No one is required to pray.
3. WE KEEP OUR PRAYERS SHORT AND SIMPLE – Group prayer goes better when members keep their prayers short and to the point. When someone prays for a long time, it’s hard for the other members to stay focused and long prayers tend to intimidate those who are just learning to pray out loud in a group. No one is required to pray out loud.