I'm really excited about these next few lessons we have planned - I think we're going to be able to pull alot out of 1 Thessalonians, have some good discussions and grow from what we learn and from seeing each others points of views. I think we all have something valuable to bring to the table.
For those of you who weren't there tonight we going to be digging through 1 Thessalonians - looking at a chapter each time we have a regular meeting. You can get a copy of this from the last email we sent out - if you need the file again just ask. It's helpful to print off the passages so you are free to mark it up and make notes.
We were using three steps tonight when we were looking at the first chapter of the book. Here's a rundown to help you remember:
Here's where read through the passage, without looking at any outside sources, and note down things that strike you. This could be powerful phrases, reoccuring words or themes, metaphors etc.
Now you can look up anything you want that you think might help you understand the passage better. You can refer to other parts of the Bible that you think relate to what you are reading, look up definitions of words you don't understand, and use commentaries and other resources that are available to you.
Here's some online resources I found - I know there is more out there and feel free to look (searching under 1 Thessalonians, or bible commentary was pretty successful for me)
http://eastonsbibledictionary.com/ (Bible Dictionary)
The last step is apply this to your life - open your heart to what God is trying to say to you and how He wants you to respond to the passage.
So those are the steps - don't feel like you need to entirely dissect the passage. It's a group effort. I encourage you all to definitely read 1 Thessalonians 2 and dig into it a bit for our next regular meeting (which will be March 11th because of the movie night on March 4), but don't feel like you can't come and join in on our discussion if you haven't gotten through it all. The themes we'll be talking about are things that relate to our lives - so your bound to have opinions/stories/experiences/wisdom to share.
Have a great Break Week everyone!