WHAT IS IN YOU IS WHAT WILL COME OUT OF YOU
- Key Verse
We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater. (2 Thessalonians 1:3)
- READ THE CHAPTER
If you believe you are loved for who you are, then you will love others.
In 2010, Demi Lovato, a teen pop star, was living a teen's dream. She had her own TV show, Sonny with a Chance, was starring in the movie Camp Rock, was dating Joe Jonas, and was touring with the Jonas Brothers. What people saw on the outside was a teen queen with a star's smile. But inside this teen queen was a sad and depressed little girl who had an eating disorder and was cutting herself. She eventually checked herself into a treatment center after attacking one of her backup singers, following a Jonas Brother concert.
In 2 Thessalonians 1:3 (CEV), Paul says, "we always have good reason to thank God for you, because your faith in God and your love for each other keep growing all the time." Why does Paul bring up faith in God and love for each other in the same sentence? Because your faith in God affects your love for others. In other words, what is in you is what comes out of you. If you believe you are loved for who you are, then you will love others. If you have faith that God loves you, then you will be able to love others. On days that you are struggling with loving others, is it because you are struggling with believing you are loved?
Recently, in school I have been struggling with thinking that I don't have any friends, which makes me go though short periods of depression. When I think that no one loves me and I leave God out of the picture, I take out my anger and frustration on my parents, which leaves them wondering what they did. Sometimes, we get into fights and I go to bed feeling more depressed than ever. If I were to look to God more often, ask Him for guidance, and remember that He loves me unconditionally, I would not get depressed as often.
Discussion Questions1. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being no one loves you and 10 being everyone in the universe loves you, how would you rate yourself?
2. Name three people who love you unconditionally.
3. Can you think of anyone who does not think they are loved? If so, how can you help them?
4. How does God's love for us affect our love for others?
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
August 27-31 (1 Thessalonians 3- 2 Thessalonians 2)
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:12-18.
• Verse 12 talks about those who are leaders over you, guiding you in God's truth. Who are these people in your life? How do they guide you in God's truth?
• Who are the different people listed in verse 14 and how are you to care for each of them differently?
• Verse 16 calls you to "[r]ejoice always." Does this mean to always be happy? How can you be joyful even in hard situations?
• What does verse 17 call you to do? How do you keep praying even in the middle of your day while you are working or at school?
• And how can you be thankful always? Is it easy for you to be thankful even when things are really hard? What are some of the things going on in your life that are hard to be thankful for?
Activity: Have each person choose some of the leaders from your answer to the first question. Take time to pray for each of them. Then write them a thank-you note and include some encouraging verses.