Tuesday, January 22, 2019 -
This morning I read I Thessalonians 1, a chapter easily skimmed over without much thought. But, interestingly, Paul remembers the Thessalonians for their “work of faith,” “labor of love,” and “steadfastness of hope” in Jesus (v. 3). In other words, it was their faith, love, and hope that defined their actions, much as those things define our actions. Does my faith drive my specific work? Do I labor for others because of my love for them and for my Savior? And does my hope in Christ make me steadfast – never wavering? These are interesting combinations of words that Paul uses. He goes on to state that the gospel to them was not just nice words, but had truly transformed their lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. This happened with full conviction (v. 5). In other words, they were “all in!” It was just a prayer they had said.
Immediately after they accepted the gift of salvation, they were thrust in grave persecution as new believers, becoming “imitators of us and the Lord,” they “having received the Word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit” (v. 6). In the midst of persecution, the Holy Spirit filled them with joy! And they became an example for believer throughout all of Greece (v. 7). That example went forth, causing many to notice (v. 8) how they immediately turned to God from their idols, putting instead their trust in God for deliverance “from the wrath to come” (v. 9-10). What an example for us!
Tonight, I was very happy that “K” came to pray with our little group. We are now up to four individuals.