In The Word
Read: 1 Thessalonians 1
Thanksgiving for These Believers
1 Paul and Silvanus and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, 4 knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you; 5 for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6 You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. 9 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that isJesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
The letters to the church at Thessalonica are very powerful in their own right. The apostle Paul covers a wide range of topics that encourage and challenge believers. In our reading today, we find a very impactful testimony given of this church by the apostle Paul, “Constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ…” (I Thessalonians 1:3 NASB). Paul was essentially telling the church that others would be encouraged because they kept their faith in Jesus.
The apostles sent the Thessalonians letters with the gospel to teach them about Jesus. Paul said that they not only followed the letter, but they imitated them, “You also became imitators of us and of the Lord…” (1 Thessalonians 1:6a NASB). When they received the Word, they didn’t just read it, but they put it into practice in their lives. As a result of them living their faith out loud, other people’s faiths were strengthened.
When we go through tough times, choosing to abandon our faith could have a detrimental effect on others. The way we stand through tough times may quite possibly be our strongest witness. When we imitate the Scripture, we are holding up a billboard that lets others know the goodness of God. The people we are called to reach may not know the Bible, so our lives could be all the message of our Lord they need to come to him. So choose today to be the message that you study in the Word of God.