Check out all the previous 1 Thessalonians readings here.

1 Thessalonians Reading | Week 3 | Day 1



Prayer


As you come to spend time with Jesus, calm your mind and body until you feel fully present. Ask Him to teach you more about Himself today.

Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18


Read these verses three times slowly.

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Reflection & Questions


If ever there were an example of how right beliefs make a big difference in our lives, chapters 4 and 5 in 1 Thessalonians show exactly that. The Thessalonian church was doing so well. They were following Jesus, loving their neighbors, and persevering in trials. Yet, it seems they believed that those who died before Jesus returned were going to miss out on eternity. This was leading to them grieving “like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.”

To help them, Paul proceeds to tell them how it works for believers who have died before them. There’s a couple of key phrases he uses. Firstly he says, they have “fallen asleep.” Death feels so final, but for believers it’s simply falling asleep here and waking up in eternity. He also tells them that on Jesus’ return, we “will be caught up together” with those who fell asleep before us. A grand reunion in the sky. There’s a lot more going on in these verses (and elsewhere in scripture) about what happens when we die. If you are interested in more, check out this article: ”What happens when people die?”

Death is not final, but that doesn’t mean we don’t grieve. Separation is painful. It is not how it’s supposed to be. We long for one more conversation, one more touch. The gospel is a salve to that pain. We grieve. But we grieve with hope, “for we believe that Jesus died and rose again.”

(If you have recently lost a loved one, we’d encourage you to check out our GriefShare group)

      1. What word or phrase from this scripture encouraged you today?
      2. Do you know someone who grieves with hope? What can you learn from them?

Prayer


Pray in response to today’s reading.

Worship Song


You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:


Check out more Bible Reading Plans here.

Questions?

Ed Applegate

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  Series Archives Coming Soon Week 1: The Ultimate Server Week 5: The King’s Legacy: David And Solomon Week 4: The King Is Crowned: King David Week 3: David and Saul Pause Week 2: The Boy Week 1: King Saul Week 5: What Is Truth? (EASTER) Week 4: Is Jesus God (Good Thursday) Week 3: What Have You Done?

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