1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 (ESV)
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
Paul began his letter to the Thessalonians with encouragement and mention of his prayers for them. I think this is a lovely way to start. According to Adam Clarke’s Bible Commentary, the church at Thessalonica was full of faith. Active, strong faith that caused them to work diligently for the Gospel. It had spread from there into Macedonia and Achaia.
People knew of the faith of the Thessalonians. They were not shy about it. They suffered for their faith as well. When you suffer for your faith, it has a tendency to strengthen your faith. If it is real, that is. People who are not fully committed, fall away when difficulties come along to challenge their faith.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be like the Thessalonians. I want to have faith that expresses itself in action. I want to come through whatever testing the Lord allows as pure, refined gold. I am not seeking to suffer, but if I must, I want to come through on the right side of the Lord. I do not want to be on His left at judgment day. (See Matthew 25:31-46).
As we begin the work week, let us seek to glorify God in our thoughts, words, and deeds. Let us do what we can to serve Him in all circumstances. May the Peace of Christ rule in our hearts and minds.
by Virgil Stripes