Season 8 Sweet Selah Moments Podcast, Sweet Selah Moments Podcast

Episode 111 – Living Wisely in Troubled Times. Acts 17:1-15

Season 8 Sweet Selah Moments Podcast
Season 8 Sweet Selah Moments Podcast
Episode 111 - Living Wisely in Troubled Times. Acts 17:1-15


Join Sharon and Nicole for a brand-new series. They’ll be studying 1 and 2 Thessalonians. Paul wrote to encourage this new church and gave wonderful advice to them that is useful for us, today. Check out today’s podcast and learn a bit about sharing your faith in a hostile culture. You’ll laugh and ponder along with our two co-hosts as you learn important Biblical truths at the same time. Join us!

Read the transcript for Living Wisely in Troubled Times-Episode 111

Speaker 1 (00:02):

It is time for a pause in your day. Welcome to a podcast where we press the pause button on our busy lives for a few moments, and we focus on God’s word with Sharon and Nicole, we pray this is a time of refreshing for you. The Sweet Selah Moments Podcast is a cooperative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries.

Nicole (00:28):

Welcome to the Sweet Selah Moments Podcast. This is episode 111, Living Wisely in Troubled Times. And this isn’t just a title for today’s podcast. It’s the title for our new series on First and Second Thessalonians, the two letters from Paul we’ll be studying this fall. Sharon, I feel like this is really relevant right now because we seem to be living in hard and troubled times.

Sharon (00:51):

We surely do. But you know, I wonder, perhaps all times are hard. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) There’s always trouble. There’s wars, disease, unrest, arguments, a culture that does not promote the best values, confusion in every century, Nicole, in one way or another. But yeah, I do feel like we are living in some extra tough and unsettling times right now for those of us who believe the Bible truly is the word of God. We’re not exactly, um, revered in public places at the moment. Right. It’s kind of why I feel the study of the letters Paul wrote to the Thessalonians is timely. I love my Charles Swindoll Study Bible so much, and what he wrote about what he calls the big idea in Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians is so good that I actually want you to read it for us. (Oh, I’d love to) So, but we’re giving credit, this is Charles Swindoll, and it kind of summarizes the big idea of 1 Thessalonians. So go for it.

Nicole (01:49):

Oh, fun. Okay. So this is from the Charles Swindoll Study Bible. “What’s the big idea? Impressed by the faithfulness of the Thessalonians in the face of persecution, Paul wrote to encourage the Christians in that community with the goal that they would continue to grow in godliness. Paul knew that the people had been exposed to errant teachings from those in opposition to the way of Jesus Christ and the grace of God. He also understood that unless the young church continued to mature in its faith, the danger would only increase over time. So, with that in mind, Paul taught the people that any spiritual growth would ultimately be motivated by their hope in the return of Jesus Christ. Paul never told people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, for he knew that what ultimately inspires change is a life of consistent walking in the power of God’s Spirit. To this group of young Christians with questions and uncertainties, Paul offered the hope of Christ’s return, providing comfort in the midst of questions and motivation for godly living.”

Sharon (02:50):

I just, I was gonna summarize it, Nicole, and I’m like, that’s almost cheating.

Nicole (02:54):


Sharon (02:54):

Cause I just wanna say what Charles Swindoll said. It’s so well put. So there it is.

Nicole (02:59):

Love it.

Sharon (03:01):

Now I’m gonna pull out just two phrases here to talk about for a minute. First, one of the goals in writing, Charles Swindoll thinks, was that these new believers would grow in godliness. That’s the goal for them to grow in godliness. It should be one of our goals as we work with people and in our own lives.

Nicole (03:19):

That too.

Sharon (03:19):

Maybe especially in our own lives that we grow in godliness. But what do you think that means? How do you encourage, for example, in your life, young moms with children and your own children to grow in godliness?

Nicole (03:30):

Yeah, that’s a good question. So, when I think of growing in godliness, I think of becoming more like God, right? Kind of like a child growing up to resemble their parents in manners and behaviors. So what we say to our kiddos, when we’re trying to teach them character traits, we’ll say, Olstads don’t lie, or Olstads are kind and loving. So we’re trying to remind them who they are and whose they are. (Sharon: Uhhuh) And those character traits are ones that God has as well. So I think that helps to instill that within them. And then in that same way, I remind myself of the character traits of God that I want to grow into, either by saying a verse I’ve memorized (Yeah) or that I read off the fridge because it’s harder to memorize things nowadays. Or I’ll repeat a phrase throughout the day when I start to display less than godly character qualities. And that’s usually followed by a prayer for patience.

Sharon (04:23):

I love it. I love finding a verse for the day. I really do. Or just a phrase for whatever time of life I’m in. (Nicole: Yes) It really does help. And it’s God’s word. (Yeah) So we know it’s, you know, a good thing to be reciting. (It’s doing it’s work, yes) With my, when I was going through my hearing trouble, one of the phrases is from Revelation in a totally different context, but I kind of absconded with it. “This calls for patient endurance,”

Nicole (04:50):

That’s perfect.

Sharon (04:50):

Isn’t it?

Nicole (04:51):

I love it. And I just would grin and say, well, Lord, sometimes what you want from me is just patient endurance. Thank you Jesus. And so I agree. I think staying in his word, knowing God, if we wanna be more like God (Nicole: Yeah) we need to know who he is. (Yes) And so introducing your children to who he is and also the grace he gives when we lie, even though we’re an Olstad.

Nicole (05:15):

Yes. Quite often actually like, wait a minute.

Sharon (05:20):

Yeah. Yeah. All that stuff helps in Godly living, I think.

Nicole (05:22):

Yes. For sure.

Sharon (05:24):

Well, the other thoughts Swindoll brings out that I really like is that we don’t grow on our own strength. I mean, we can do the Bible study, we can recite the verses, we can do our daily quiet times, la-di-la-di-da, we can do all the spiritual disciplines, which we should. (Nicole: Yes) Because that puts us in a place to hear from God. But we grow when we walk in the power of God’s Spirit. (Mm-hmm) And we can check the boxes without ever checking in with God. (Yeah) Right? Unfortunately.

Nicole (05:50):

That’s so scary.

Sharon (05:51):

So for me, that starts with how I begin my day. When I carve out that little quiet time, I’m putting my marker down, you know, God first, Lord, I want you, this matters to me more than anything, and I need your help. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) So it can’t be just, I’m doing the quiet time as a chore. It’s, the most important part is the request for help. (Yeah) Right. (Yep) It’s not just, ‘Right, I’m reading the scripture, I’ve learned wise things, I’m smarter biblically, and okay, I’m done. It’s Jesus, help me with my day. (Mm-hmm) Right? (Yes) So it’s the Spirit’s help. So, and then, and then a kind of a surrender to the day, kind of a, ‘alright, Lord, uh, you know what I wanna accomplish, but help me to be interruptible if you’ve got other plans. (Yeah) Lead me by your Spirit. And when the ugly things happen, I’m gonna so need you to respond (Mm-hmm) in a godly way, or I will blow it. You and I both know this.

Nicole (06:44):

Yeah. It’s tapping into that power for the day.

Sharon (06:46):

Right. Right. And he wants to be asked. (Nicole: Yeah) He, he doesn’t want us just to assume he’ll be there. He says, ‘Ask me, ask me’. And it’s a humbling thing. So, anyways, I think that’s really good too.

Nicole (06:57):

That is really good. Yeah. No, absolutely. I think time in his word in the morning is so important. And I also find, so after starting the day with him, it’s prayer. Prayer is such a powerful tool for me. (Sharon: Yes) Especially as a busy young mom, I never forget it at home. It’s always something I can do on the go. And it keeps me in his Spirit, in his power. Cause it’ll remind me, I’ll stop and I’ll pray. And then you get that fresh surge of power from him, the encouragement from him to keep on going. (Yes) Lately I’ve been doing more scheduled prayer stops (Uhhuh) So praying throughout the day as I need it for sure. And then I pray first thing in the morning, in the middle of the day, and then before bed. (Oh, I love that). And they’re quick stops and kind of like a little Selah stop.

Sharon (07:46):

You know I’ll approve of that.

Nicole (07:48):

Yes. But in this season of life, it’s, I do really well with rhythms and routines. (Sharon: Yes) And this is a great way to incorporate those kind of pre-scheduled times with God that I might rush through and miss sometimes. (Mm-hmm) But I know I have three solid ones there. Then praying before meals and you know, here and there. But anytime I can put in a stop with God throughout the day to check in, like, okay, God, it’s noontime. I yelled at the kids and I was being selfish, like, forgive me. (Yeah) It’s kind of like a reset throughout the day.

Sharon (08:16):

I was just gonna use that word ‘reset’. (Nicole: Yep) Absolutely. Yeah. We need to schedule stuff like that. (Oh yeah) I remember back a long time ago when I would wanna, you know, drive an hour to see my parents and my, it was two hours, I think, see my parents and my in-laws when we lived at Fort Devin’s, one of our stops. And it never worked out. You know, it just never did ’cause I filled up my calendar with other things. (Mm-hmm) It wasn’t until I set aside Wednesdays as the day. (Oh yeah) that then I saw them every week. And if I missed the occasional Wednesday, at least I had that rhythm, like you said. (Yes) And it’s the same with the Lord. Setting up a special time ensures that at least it happens then.

Nicole (08:54):

Right. Even if I forget in between those times. (Sharon: Yes) I have three solid markers with God. (Yes) That gets my mind set back on him.

Sharon (09:00):

Yep. Yep. Back on him where it belongs. (Nicole: Yep) And then we’re Spirit led. So (Yes) Cool. Well this is Paul’s goal for the Thessalonians as he’s writing to them, is to help them be Spirit led. (Mm-hmm) To live a godly life. To not be led astray by people that are gonna come in and tell them that they’re doing it wrong. (Mm-hmm) So, um, but we’re gonna start this study at the beginning and that’s before the Thessalonians actually knew Jesus. So I’m excited about that. We’re gonna go to Acts of course, to do that. So how did Paul meet the people, um, in Thessalonica? Let’s read Acts 17:1-15 and find out now. So Nicole, you’re gonna start with verse one. We’ll read back and forth. Um, let’s get introduced to these people and see how they came to know Jesus.

Nicole (09:49):

Yeah, sounds good. “So Paul and Silas then traveled to the towns of Amphipolis (Sharon: Good job) and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica where there was a Jewish synagogue.”

Sharon (10:03):

“As was Paul’s custom, he went to the synagogue’s service and for three Sabbaths in a row, he used the scriptures to reason with the people.”

Nicole (10:13):

“He explained the prophecies and proved that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead. He said, this Jesus I’m telling you about is the Messiah.”

Sharon (10:22):

“Some of the Jews who listened were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with many God-fearing Greek men. And quite a few prominent women.” Oh.

Nicole (10:32):

“But some of the Jews were jealous. So they gathered some troublemakers from the marketplace to form a mob and start a riot. They attacked the home of Jason searching for Paul and Silas so that they could drag them out to the crowd.”

Sharon (10:45):

Oh my word. “Not finding them there, they dragged out Jason and some of the other believers instead and took them before the city council. Paul and Silas have caused trouble all over the world, they shouted. And now they are here disturbing our city too.”

Nicole (11:01):

“And Jason has welcomed them into his home. They’re all guilty of treason against Caesar for they profess allegiance to another King named Jesus.”

Sharon (11:11):

“The people of the city, as well as the city council, were thrown into turmoil by these reports.”

Nicole (11:17):

“So the officials forced Jason and the other believers to post bond and then they released them.”

Sharon (11:22):

I’m just gonna hit a pause here for a minute. Note that nobody was upset when Paul was there preaching. It wasn’t until people stirred up a mob that anybody even got upset about it.

Nicole (11:32):

Yeah. Isn’t that interesting?

Sharon (11:33):

Goodness gracious. Okay, verse 10, “That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue.”

Nicole (11:42):

“And the people of Berea were more open-minded that those in Thessalonica. And they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.”

Sharon (11:54):

“As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.”

Nicole (11:59):

“But when some Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God in Berea, they went there and stirred up trouble.”

Sharon (12:06):

Good grief. Not enough that they got him out of Thessalonica. They’re gonna go follow him.

Nicole (12:11):

Yeah. That’s stressful.

Sharon (12:13):

Yikes. Verse 14, “The believers acted at once, sending Paul on to the coast while Silas and Timothy remained behind.”

Nicole (12:22):

“Those escorting. Paul went with him all the way to Athens. Then they returned to Berea with instructions for Silas and Timothy to hurry and join them.”

Sharon (12:31):

Okay. Well, yeah, so. Paul and Silas are on their first missionary journey together. It’s Paul’s second missionary journey, but the first one with Silas, because he was on his first journey with Barnabas (NIcole: Yes) we talked about last spring as the guy who literally got the new name, son of encouragement. ’cause he was so encouraging. So Paul and Barnabas actually parted ways. Nicole, remind us why.

Nicole (12:54):

Yeah. They had a really intense, uh, disagreement about John Mark and whether or not he should be allowed to come with them again after abandoning them on the first missionary trip that he went with them on.

Sharon (13:04):

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And Barnabas, our encourager is like, give him another chance. And Paul’s like, this is too important.

Nicole (13:10):


Sharon (13:11):

So now Barnabas and John Mark are preaching in one place, and Paul and Silas have gone in another direction. He’s usually invited to speak as a guest and he always points to Jesus in what he reads from the Old Testament, there’s no New Testament. He’s in the process of writing it basically.

Nicole (13:31):

That’s right. They’re living it.

Sharon (13:33):

Yeah. They’re living the New Testament. Isaiah and many of the prophets so clearly point to Jesus in their prophecies. So Paul just unpacks this and shows the people that Messiah has indeed come. It’s like, read this. This is what Jesus did, kind of thing. (Nicole: Yeah) So we’re actually going to do this together. We’re gonna read Isaiah 53:1-12. Just listen to these words. This describes what exactly happened to Jesus in the time when these people were still living. I mean, it had just happened a couple of decades ago. It’s fresh. Anyone can verify that Jesus lived, died, was crucified and that many, many saw him alive again afterward. This is why Paul would unpack these scriptures to open eyes to the truth. (Mm-hmm) Oh my goodness. So. (Cool) Alright, well, got carried away. Let’s read, um, Isaiah 53. I think what I wanna do is read it in two parts. So can you read 53:1-6? (Sure) Thanks.

Nicole (14:28):

All right. “Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm? My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot. Like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance. Nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised and we did not care. Yet, it was our weaknesses he carried. It was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins. But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.”

Sharon (15:25):

Okay. So, I mean, I have no idea what passage Paul read. I’m just thinking this is one of them. Because the Jews were expecting a warrior King. (NIcole: Yes) Like David, right? (Yep) So he had to show them from Isaiah that that’s not what was prophesied. (Mm-hmm) What was prophesied was somebody where there was nothing majestic in his appearance at all. (Right) He was despised and rejected. This is the Jesus that came and it’s right in the scripture. So, so cool. Well, let me pick it up at verse seven. Let me read the rest. “He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. Unjustly condemned he was led away. And no one cared that he died without descendants. That his life was cut short in midstream. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone, but he was buried like a criminal. He was put in a rich man’s grave, but it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life. And the Lord’s good plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that he has accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous. For he will bear all their sins. I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.” There’s the cross, right there. There’s the cross, there’s the resurrection. There’s even the weirdness that he died a criminal’s death and was buried in a rich man’s grave. (Right) Both of which happened.

Nicole (17:25):

All the details are in there.

Sharon (17:26):

All the details.

Nicole (17:27):

That’s amazing.

Sharon (17:28):

It’s so cool. So I think Paul would read and explain and just testify to what he saw as well in each place he landed, you know, as he’d go, (NIcole: Oh yeah) from synagogue to synagogue. He’s like, you guys, it’s right here. (Wow) Jesus has come and let me prove it to you from our Bible.

Nicole (17:45):

That’s really neat.

Sharon (17:45):

Yeah. So cool. And some Jews were persuaded as well as some Greeks. So Thessalonica is in northern Greece, what was called Macedonia at the time. So Jason is one of the guys that must have received the truth about what Paul said. (Nicole: Right) And Jason invites him into his home. I’m assuming Paul and Silas were like living there. That’s why they thought they, when they burst into Jason’s house. (Right, right) that they’d find him there. So what a cost for Jason, who has, I mean like a week ago, the most, maybe two months ago, believed that Jesus was Messiah. (Right) And now things, bad things are going to happen.

Nicole (18:25):

Yeah. He gets pulled out of his house and thrown in jail. That’s not, that’s a, a rude awakening to Christian faith, huh?

Sharon (18:32):

It sure is. I dunno about you but when I prayed and asked Jesus into my heart at four,

Nicole (18:36):

I wasn’t expecting that!

Sharon (18:38):

And I didn’t get that. Nobody persecuted me.

Nicole (18:41):

Right. Wow. So, so Jason ends up in prison with a few others, but Paul and Silas evidently weren’t in the home at the time.

Sharon (18:48):

Yeah. It kind of reads like a spy novel, doesn’t it?

Nicole (18:50):

I know, it’s very exciting. Like, where are they?

Sharon (18:52):

Yeah, I want a movie made of it. You know? They’re breaking down the doors, where are they? (Nicole: Right) And Jason’s like, oh, thank goodness they’re not here. (Yeah) Get word to them. Send the servant out by the back door. Tell them to run. I don’t know. God kept them safe somehow so they could be smuggled out of the city. (Oh yeah) So most commentators believe that after the three weeks of teaching in the synagogue, Paul and Silas probably stayed longer, a few months. (Okay) ‘Cause that’s normally what happened. Paul would preach for three weeks, people would get mad at him, kick ’em outta the synagogue, then he’d preach for everybody. And then people would get mad at ’em. (Right) Throw him out of all the cities. Just kind of the way it is. So, um, but boy, oh boy, it caused a riot eventually (Mm-hmm) because people didn’t like what Paul was saying. And these new believers were put in prison. (Mm-hmm) Have you ever been in prison by, I mean, I —-

Nicole (19:39):

I love that.

Sharon (19:39):

I don’t necessarily mean as a prisoner. I mean, you could share that if it’s true.

Nicole (19:42):

Well, there was this one time.

Sharon (19:45):

But I mean, have you ever gone to jail?

Nicole (19:47):

No. Well, only with my kids to see the local police station for a field trip. (Sharon: Yeah, yeah, yeah) So nothing too nefarious.

Sharon (19:52):

Oh, my word. When I was in Germany, one of the things that I joined was prison ministry. (Nicole: Oh, neat) And there was a holding cell or facility for bad American soldiers. (Oh wow) Who, you know, were awaiting trial for, I mean, murder, rape. (Oh wow) Stealing, smuggling. (Yeah) Bad guys. Really bad guys. And we went in there to do a chapel service once a week. And I can remember the first time, you know, the search as you go in, taking everything outta your pockets. (Oh my word). You know, getting your pocketbook put aside, going through all these machines to make sure you were not carrying contraband. And then the number of doors that you’d, there’d be a door in front of you and you’d walk through a door, and then the door behind you would go kerthunk. (Wow) And then there’d be a pause, and then the door ahead of you would open and you’d go to another holding area where the door behind you slams shut. (Oh, wow) You feel really trapped.

Nicole (20:48):

Like a little claustrophobic, huh?

Sharon (20:49):

Yeah. You’re not getting out easily. (Nicole: Wow) It was really something. It really was. (Yeah) And you know, they were treated much better probably than Jason was treated in his prison cell, you know?

Nicole (21:00):

Yeah. The standard for prison care is a lot higher than it was back in the day,

Sharon (21:04):

Yes. Yes. But it’s still a hard thing to be put away and not know when you’re getting out. (Nicole: Oh, yeah) Even if you think you’re just doing a chapel service and getting out in an hour, you’re like, well, there’s a riot. I’m not going anywhere. Yeah. So, so talk about being put to the test right away. Um, there they are in jail. So what sustained them, Nicole? What kept them Christian with only two months or so under their belt?

Nicole (21:26):


Sharon (21:27):


Nicole (21:28):

It’s gotta be the Holy Spirit because they couldn’t sustain something like that on their own. No. If I joined a club or a new group or whatever, and like a couple days later I was being dragged from my home, in prison, fearing for my life. Like, I’m done. This, this is, this is whack. (Sharon: Yes) I don’t want any part of this place. So the fact that they were able to endure, it’s the Holy Spirit.

Sharon (21:49):

It absolutely is.

Nicole (21:50):


Sharon (21:50):

It’s the spirit. It means that their transformation was real. Yes. When they said, Holy Spirit come in.

Nicole (21:56):

Mm-hmm. He did.

Sharon (21:56):

He did.

Nicole (21:57):

And he filled them. (Sharon: He did) And it’s amazing that they didn’t have to grow in the Holy Spirit. He was there full force for them immediately. (Yes) It wasn’t like, oh, we only have a little bit of Holy Spirit. We can’t endure this trial. God filled them completely, fully and full power.

Sharon (22:12):

Absolutely. And they withstood (Nicole: Beautiful) So, so fun.

Nicole (22:15):

It is fun.

Sharon (22:16):

Yeah. So off Paul and Silas go to Berea, which, you know, I mean, this is how they do their missionary journey. Stay until you’re kicked out. Go on. (Nicole: Mm-hmm) I’ve always been fascinated with the Bereans though. (Mm-hmm) How are they commended, Nicole?

Nicole (22:30):

Well, Acts 17:11-12 says “The people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica. And they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.”

Sharon (22:51):

Isn’t that cool?

Nicole (22:51):

Really cool. So they were open-minded. They were willing to listen to them. (Sharon: Yes) But they didn’t just accept it blindly. They went back to the scriptures and made sure what they were saying was the truth.

Sharon (23:01):

I love that.

Nicole (23:01):

That’s really neat.

Sharon (23:02):

And I love that they’re commended for that. (Nicole: Yes) They’re not, they weren’t expected to blindly listen to someone they didn’t know. (Right) But Paul’s talking from the Bible, their Bible, they’re God’s word, which is also ours. (Right) And they’re seeing the truth in it. It’s so, so fun. (It is) And evidently it also tells us something about the Jewish folk in Thessalonica because they weren’t as open-minded. The Bereans get more praise. (Yeah) The Jewish people are the ones that, well, some of them, I mean, Jason could have been one of the Jews that did believe, but the Jews that did not believe were so ticked off they went to Berea to stir up trouble there too.

Nicole (23:36):

That’s right. Oh my word.

Sharon (23:38):

So, for crying out loud. So I think we’ve talked about this before, but I think that we have to be so careful ourselves when we hear a speaker, when we read a book, (Nicole: Mm-hmm) we hear a preacher, to go back like a Berean and compare it to the scriptures to make sure things are not taken out of context.(Yes) It’s so important we read the Bible itself and we read it in context and we’re not led astray just because somebody says a couple of Bible verses that could have been pulled out of context.

Nicole (24:06):

Yeah, absolutely. Well, it’s— that way we won’t be led astray by false teaching or even a simple human error. (Sharon: Yes) I mean, the person, our pastors and teachers and friends, we’re all human and we’re prone to error or mistaking something. (Exactly)So even just to, to know that and be aware of it. (Yes) And to trust that the Holy Spirit can teach us things when we study with him, you know?

Sharon (24:25):

Absolutely. Yeah. And just, just a plug for the pastors at our church who are amazing,

Nicole (24:30):

They really are.

Sharon (24:31):

My husband Ray, the very careful historian. (Nicole: Yes) Um, he catches errors easily. So then he’ll go and he’ll talk to the pastor one-on-one. When you said this historically, it was actually ta-dah ta-dah. (Right, right) You know, or this sounded contradictory. Every pastor has thanked him, gone back and researched. Nathan once wrote a paper for Ray.

Nicole (24:53):

Oh my goodness.

Sharon (24:53):

Our, our pastors are fabulous. There was no, well, I’m the authority here. Did you go to seminary? None of that. There was a humility. There was a, you know, looking at it with Ray.

Nicole (25:05):

And a learning moment. That’s really neat.

Sharon (25:06):

They’re phenomenal.

Nicole (25:08):

Aw. We’re so blessed by them.

Sharon (25:09):

We’re so blessed. We’re so, so, so blessed. Oh my goodness. So good. Well, Paul and Silas had to leave Berea as well after the Thessalonians that didn’t believe went and shoved them out of there too.

Nicole (25:19):

Oh my goodness.

Sharon (25:20):

So, um, what a job.

Nicole (25:22):

I know, right. Stay till everyone gets angry, then move on along.

Sharon (25:26):

Yeah. You know, I know that there’s more persecution of Christians now. I know there is. (Nicole: Yeah) But I feel like we haven’t really hit that level yet. What do you think?

Nicole (25:34):

No, I don’t think so either. (Sharon: No, no) You know, I think about it and I’ve never had my life threatened. I haven’t been in prison for my faith. I don’t worry about my children. We go to church and I’m not, my first thought isn’t, oh, I hope someone doesn’t come and arrest us today or come in to hurt us. It’s a very beautiful, freeing thing to worship God in our country right now. (Sharon: It is, it is) I mean, definitely get made fun of. We’re definitely getting some pressure (Right) and we’re made to feel— But that’s, I still don’t fear for my life yet.

Sharon (26:00):

Not yet.

Nicole (26:00):

Or imprisoned? Not yet. Let’s hope it’s further down the line.

Sharon (26:03):

I know it. And, and we both need to be grateful. (Nicole: Yes) So grateful and also aware that God’s people sometimes are called to have patient endurance (Yes) during persecution. That nobody’s promised Sharon that she gets to live and die sitting on her cushy brown couch, doing her quiet time with her perfectly made cup of tea. Right? (Right) I mean, I’ll sign up for that till the day I die but at any moment, if something happens, I need to be willing, like Paul and Silas, to take the hard with the good. (Mmm. Absolutely) Our Lord is worth it. (Yeah) Right, right? (No, very good). Well, this season we are going to go verse by verse through the letters Paul wrote that new tiny church in Thessalonica, we’re going to learn how to mature in the faith, in the midst of persecution and trouble. (Mm-hmm) Because that’s how they started out. We’re going to be encouraged by end times information and strengthened to stand firm right where we are. I love these letters so much. I really do. They’re some of my favorites. But I always say that. They were, they were both written shortly after Paul’s visit. After all, he wasn’t there that long. He needed to say more. (Nicole: Right, right) He had so much more to say and it has great value and relevance for us today. (Yes) So let’s pray. Father, I thank you for this study. I thank you for how timely it is as we live in more troubled times where, um, Christians are not respected, sometimes with good reason, today. Father teach us through troubled times, teach us through our own, and as we study what happened at Thessalonica, Lord, show us, show us principles and truths that will help us live wisely today. Thank you Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Nicole (27:55):

Thanks for joining us today. We would be so encouraged if you would write us at or donate to this ongoing ministry We love chatting with you each week and hope this series inspires all of us to live wisely in hard times. I’m so eager to get started, and I hope you will join us each week as we unpack God’s word together. Come back next week for episode 112, Enduring Hope.

Speaker 1 (28:25):

We are so glad you stopped for a while with us. The Sweet Selah Moments Podcast is a cooperative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries. More information about this podcast can be Thank you for joining us.

You can print or download the transcript here.

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