2:7 The three of them were like a mother caring for her own children. What image does this create in your mind?
2:11 Now as a father – a loving father – with his own children
2:12 Such a father encourages, comforts, and urges them not just to live life as a good person but to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory
2:13 Word of God
3:6-8 The Thessalonians had not allowed negative propaganda to affect what Paul, Silas, and Timothy had taught them! Paul had hoped to comfort the Thessalonians, but instead he was comforted by them via Timothy’s report. This strengthened Paul and likely Silas and Timothy as well. To have even one ally strengthens your ability to stand firm. Their standing firm strengthens Paul and he wants them to know that.
3:9-10 Paul thanks God for the Thessalonians and in fact owes a debt to God for what the Thessalonians have meant to him. Not only is thanksgiving directed to God, but the rejoicing is in the presence of God. They pray for the Thessalonians continually. We are not told what they are lacking and with the report he has received from Timothy it is most likely to encourage them even more in their faith so they would have an even tougher Christian faith under increasing pressure – persecution.
3:11-13 Paul’s prayer: God the Father is mentioned twice, Jesus three times – Lord Jesus, Lord, Lord Jesus. Our God and Father Himself points to Him as the source for answers. Both Father and Son are addressed just as in verse one of chapter one again implying the deity of Christ. Wants love to increase until it is so abundant it is overflowing – 2 Thessalonians 1:3 shows this did happen. Here he wants their love to increase for one another and also for everyone else including their persecutors. Finally they were to ensure their faith and resultant morality could be beyond questioning. Holy = separated from a life of sin and united with Christ. There will be a time when Christ will return and Paul wants the Thessalonians to be ready for that day. Are YOU ready???
4:1-2 Paul finally [better in addition] continues to urge them to be ready and in fact to increase their readiness to meet Jesus. Do this more and more to the point of overflowing again. Remember his instructions were given by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
4:3-8 It is not Paul’s will, but God’s will!!! Sanctified = is holiness or set apart from sin. Should avoid? Stay away from! Abstain [desist, go without, give up] from sexual immorality!! IF you learn to control your body, you will not engage in passionate lust as this is something – passion – that can be fed and encouraged by the individual’s coveting until it rages out of control … do not covet. Switch? – do not wrong or rather defraud [cheat or rob] your brothers or sisters especially in sexual matters. Don’t covet another’s wife or husband to the point of action. God will actually punish or avenge for all such sins. Reject this teaching is a rejection [despising] of God and because He gave you the Holy Spirit you are doing this in the presence of God and are without excuse.
4:9-12 Paul acknowledges it is God who has taught them to love one another. Yet he calls on them to do so more and more. Why? Perhaps he knew of Christ’s teaching and command later found in John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” So how are we to love one another? Paul says we are to make it our ambition to do so while living a quiet life. Don’t read this out of context … love one another but don’t interfere unnecessarily or randomly whenever it suits us. Live our lives helping where we can while minding our own business (a seeming contradiction) and being busy with our own work. Doing so provides two results 1) a quiet testimony to those who are not saved but interested and 2) by your own hand, your own labor be able to make a living – not be a burden to friends or a beggar to others. As a church, take care of our own as much as we are able. Christian hospitals, schools, universities, adoption agencies, etc, etc.
In essence (2:12) to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.