Good morning! Today we will begin our study in 1 Thessalonians. If you recall from our reading in Acts 17 several months ago, Apostle Paul visited Thessalonica. In this book, Apostle Paul is addressing the church in Thessalonica. Join me as we begin our review.
Bible verse – 1 Thessalonians 1:1-3 NLT
“This letter is from Paul, Silas,[a] and Timothy. We are writing to the church in Thessalonica, to you who belong to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. May God give you grace and peace. 2 We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. 3 As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.
There is a key group of people that Paul, Silas and Timothy wanted to address when they wrote the church:
- Those who belong to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Then Paul, Silas and Timothy announced that they prayed for them constantly, but specifically called to mind what they think of when they remember the church:
- Faithful work
- Loving deeds
- Enduring hope
The church in Thessalonica understood the saving grace of Christ Jesus and they looked toward the future hope of Christ’s return. The church exhibited faith, love and hope.
While Apostle Paul did not have the best experience in the region of Thessalonica when he preached there, 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. However, shortly after some Jewish believers became jealous and chaos ensued causing Paul to flee at night. Yet, that did not deter believers from believing the Good News of Jesus Christ and it did not stop Paul from preaching.
Paul wasn’t with the church to see those three characteristics (faith, love, hope) mature or at work, but he heard and/or read about it. It warmed his heart and mind.
Sisters and brothers, there will be times when the Lord will call us to do work and we may never see the fruit of that work with our own eyes (maybe from a distance), but we can be certain the Lord is working and moving in the hearts and lives of others. May I encourage you to continue the work of Christ no matter the odds you face – keep pressing in and moving forward in faith?
The Lord has a plan that is greater than we can see, but He has invited us along to be active participants in His work. He has gifted you with spiritual gifts and has placed you in positions where you can impact the kingdom (e.g., home, family, job, church, school, etc.). Will you allow Him to use you today?
Father God, thank you for another beautiful day. Thank you for the quiet rain in California. Thank you for another sunrise around the world. Lord, continue to be our light in the day and night. Increase our faith, expand our ability to love others, and continue to encourage us in our hope that it may endure our whole life. Lord, keep us, teach us your ways and use us. In Jesus name, amen.
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