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1Thessalonians, Chapter Two, Lesson Four

BOUNTY IN CHRIST            Page 5
V.17 (cont'd.)

** How do we know that Paul's heart was truly with them, what does he say in this verse about his desire?

He had a "great" desire to see them face to face!

V.18 ** Do you suppose this was just a passing whim of Paul's to be able to see them again?

"For we wanted to come to you...more than once"

** With such a strong, repeating desire, why didn't Paul go to see his beloved Thessalonians?

Because "Satan thwarted us". This is a fascinating statement. We do not know specifically what Paul was thinking at the time of writing this statement, but we do know the schemes of the devil and how he influences sinful men in an effort to stop God's plans.

He does so by:

Hating - Acts 17:5-9
Tempting - Matthew 4:10, 16:22-23
Testing - Job 1:6-12

Satan can win the daily temporary battles, but the ultimate victory has been won by Christ at Calvary and we have no need to be distracted from that which God has called us to do.
cf. 2Corintians 2:10-11

V.19 ** Even though Paul could not presently get back to see his beloved Thessalonians, he did realize the abundant "Bounty in Christ" he had gained through knowing and loving them. How valuable were these Christians to Paul's heart?

They were his "hope, joy and crown of exultation"!

** When will this marvelous bounty be realized?

"in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming"

Paul is saying that his joy or victory wreath, will be to see the Thessalonians coming with Christ. cf. 1Thessalonians 3:13 and Revelation 19:7-8, 11-14

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