ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 127



2:19–4:8
1 T hessal o n ia n s
115
come to you, and I, Paul, tried again and again, but Satan prevented us.
After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward
and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when he returns? It is you!
Yes, you are our pride and joy.
Finally, when we could stand it no longer, we decided to stay alone in
Athens, and we sent Timothy to visit you. He is our brother and God’s
co-worker in proclaiming the Good News of Christ. We sent him to
strengthen you, to encourage you in your faith, and to keep you from being
shaken by the troubles you were going through. But you know that we are
destined for such troubles. Even while we were with you, we warned you
that troubles would soon come—and they did, as you well know. That is
why, when I could bear it no longer, I sent Timothy to find out whether
your faith was still strong. I was afraid that the tempter had gotten the best
of you and that our work had been useless.
But now Timothy has just returned, bringing us good news about your
faith and love. He reports that you always remember our visit with joy and
that you want to see us as much as we want to see you. So we have been
greatly encouraged in the midst of our troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives us
new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord.
How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy as we enter
God’s presence. Night and day we pray earnestly for you, asking God to
let us see you again to fill the gaps in your faith.
May God our Father and our Lord Jesus bring us to you very soon. And
may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and
overflow, just as our love for you overflows. May he, as a result, make your
hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father
when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen.
Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord
Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this
way already, and we encourage you to do so even more. For you remember
what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then
each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor—not
in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways.
Never harm or cheat a fellow believer in this matter by violating his wife,
for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before.
God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. Therefore, anyone





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