MAKE YOUR LOVE INCREASE AND OVERFLOW
1 Thessalonians 2:17-3:13 Key Verse: 3:12
“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as our does for you.”
1. Read 2:17-20. How were they separated in person (2:17, Acts 17:10)? Why did they want to come and see them (2:19-20; 3:10)? How did they try to come but could not?
2. Read 3:1-5. Why did he go to Athens (Acts 17:14-15)? Why did he send Timothy? What are they destined for (3)? What did they keep on telling Thessalonian Christians (4)? What did he want to find out and why (5)?
3. Read 3:6-10. What news did Timothy bring about Thessalonian Christians? What affection did they have toward each other? By what were they encouraged (7-8)? What was their thankful topic?
4. Read 3:11-13. What were the prayer topics? How could their love toward each other and overflow? Why did they pray for their hearts to be strengthened?
MOTHER AND FATHER LIKE SHEPHERD
1 Thessalonians 2:1-16 Key Verse: 11
“For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children.”
1. What was the result of God’s work in Thessalonica? (Acts 17:1-4) How hard it was to continue to preach the gospel in Philippi? (Acts 17:5-9) How did they overcome the test? (3-6)
2. How did Paul and Silas care for Christians in Thessalonica? (7) What does it mean to care like a mother? (8) How did they live an exemplary life among Christians in Thessalonica? (9-10)
3. What does it mean to deal with other members as a father? (11-12) How did Paul encourage, comfort and urge? How can we live lives worthy of God?
4. Why did Paul thank God for Thessalonian Christians? (13) How do we know that the word of God is at work in one’s life? (14-16) How did they overcome persecutions?
Faith That Shows
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, Key Verse: 1:3
“We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1. What visible fruits of the Thessalonians’ faith did Paul praise in verse 3? What were the underlying graces that motivated them? Discuss how each of these graces can produce the visible result mentioned.
2. Read verses 4-5. What was the evidence that God had chosen the believers at Thessalonica? What does this teach about the nature of the gospel and the goal of evangelism?
3. Why does Paul mention the great suffering that accompanied the gospel work in Thessalonica (v. 6; see Acts 17:1-9)?
4. Look at verses 7-9a. Why did Paul not need to tell others about the Thessalonians’ faith? What does this chapter teach about the importance of providing an example of Christian life? (5b, 6a, 7a)
5. Look at verses 9b-10. How does Paul summarize the change that had occurred in the believers’ lives? How has this change been revealed in your life?
GOD REVEALS HIS SOVEREIGN WILL
Key verse: 41:51, 52
1. Read 40:1-8. What was Joseph’s situation when he met the king’s cupbearer and baker? What was their situation? How did Joseph show a shepherd’s concern for them? How could he help them? What did he teach them about God?
2. Read 40:9-22. What was the cupbearer’s dream? How did Joseph interpret it? How was the baker’s dream similar to the cupbearer’s? How did Joseph show himself to be an honest and fearless teacher of God’s revelation? How were the two dreams fulfilled?
3. Read 41:1-13. What request had Joseph made of the cupbearer? Why? What was the strange dream that Pharaoh had? When did the cupbearer remember Joseph? (40:14,23; 40:9) What did he tell Pharaoh about Joseph?
4. Read 41:14-42. How did Joseph prepare to go to Pharaoh? What were Joseph’s first words to Pharaoh? What does this show about him? What did Joseph teach Pharaoh about God’s sovereign control of nature and history? What did the dreams mean? (17-32)
5. Read 41:33-40. How did Joseph counsel Pharaoh? Why was he not afraid of offending Pharaoh? How does this show his shepherd mind for Pharaoh and Egypt? Why did Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of his palace and in charge of Egypt?
6. Read 41:41-49. What did Joseph do after being make prime minister of Egypt? How old was he? How did Pharaoh honor him and provide for him? How did Joseph use his privileges? What does this show about his faith?
7. Read 41:50-57. What did Joseph name his sons? What does this reveal about his faith? How did God reveal his sovereignty over Egypt and the world? How did he use Joseph to save many lives?
JOSEPH’S FAITH AND STEWARDSHIP
Key Verse: 50:20
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
1. How did Jacob bless Joseph’s sons? (48:1-21) What is the significance of this blessing in Israel’s history? Joseph is not in genealogy of Jesus but his sons. In what way does he point to Jesus?
2. How did Jacob bless his children one by one (49:1-28)? Any noticeable blessing do you find in Jacob’s blessing? Why?
3. What did Jacob ask his sons do for his burial place? Why? What did they do?
4. Why did Joseph’s brothers become fearful after their father’s death? What did Joseph teach them? What hope did Joseph plant in his family? (50:22-26)
JOSEPH’S BROTHERS REPENT
Key Verse: 44:33
“Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers.”
1. How wide did the famine extend? Why didn’t Jacob send Benjamin with them? What did Joseph think of when they bowed down before him? (9a) What does this show about his faith?
2. Why did he accuse them of being spies? What information about themselves and their family did they divulge? (6-13) How did he propose to test them?
3. What did they reveal about their burden of guilt? (21-13) How did their confession affect Joseph? Why? What additional anxiety did Joseph give his brothers? Why? (28)
4. What report did they give their father? What was their reaction when they discovered the rest of their money in the sacks? (29-35) What reveals the sorrow and fatalism in Jacob’s heart?
5. How did Judah persuade Jacob to send Benjamin? (3, 8-10) How did Joseph receive them and why were they so frightened? (15-22)
6. What serious problem did Joseph create for his brothers as they were leaving Egypt? Why? How did the brothers respond to the crisis? How have they changed? What was Judah’s plea? How was he changed? What can we learn from Joseph and from God of Joseph?
GOD WAS WITH JOSEPH
Key verse: 39:2
“The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.”
1. Read 37:1-11.Why did Joseph’s brothers hate him? What was his home atmosphere probably like? How did God reveal to Joseph a larger purpose for his life? How was Joseph’s inner life different from that of his brothers?
2. Read 37:12-17. What errand did Jacob give Joseph? How did Joseph carry out the mission his father gave him? What does this show about him?
3. Read 37:18-36. How did Joseph’s brothers come to sell him to Midianite traders going to Egypt? What were the roles of Judah and Reuben in this crime? How did they explain to their father, and how did this affect his life? What happened to Joseph? (Ps 105:17,18)
4. Read 38:1-30. Why did Judah leave home? Describe his family life among the Canaanites. Who was Tamar? Why did Judah say, “She is more righteous than I…” (26) How does God use her to bring Judah back into the covenant history? (See also Mt: 1:2,3)
5. Read 39:1-10. How did Joseph rise to power in Potiphar’s house? What did he have to overcome? Why and how did Potiphar’s wife try to seduce Joseph? What did he tell her?
6. Read 39:11-20a. What happened one day? What happened to Joseph because of her lies? Read 39:20b-23. What happened to Joseph in prison? What difference did it make that “God was with Joseph”?