The Thessalonians’ Faith and Example
“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.” 1 Thessalonians 1:2-5
Words are powerful. They have the ability to change your life in a matter of seconds:
- “Will you marry me?”
- “We’re pregnant!”
- “I am sorry, there was nothing more we could do.”
- “You are no longer the right fit for this job.”
Then there are some words that can simply change your mood for the day:
- “I love you.”
- “How can I help?”
- “Welcome, we’ve missed you!”
- “May the Force be with you.” (My personal favorite.)
No matter what, with each of those words and phrases, I am sure some emotion was stirred up.
In 1 Thessalonians chapter 1, Paul has opened his letter to the church in Thessalonica with thanksgiving. He is thanking the Lord for what He is doing in the church and how the Spirit has been moving and working in their lives. He then takes the time to mention the Gospel, which is the foundation of their faith. In verse 5, Paul specifically writes, “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.”
I love how Paul takes the time to remind the church of the “word” of the Gospel. It was how the Gospel truly came and was verbally shared with them of all that Christ had done for their sake. It was not something that they just felt or experienced, but it was verbal words of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What is that Gospel? I love how Paul writes to the church in Corinth in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you – unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” That is the Gospel in word – That Jesus died for our sins, was buried, rose again from the grave, and ultimately conquered death, Hell, and the grave!
Words are powerful. No matter what may be said or shared with you, there is no doubt that the most powerful words we have ever heard or shared are the words of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope that in all we do and in the opportunities we are given, that we always keep these words fresh and ready so that we can share the love and life-changing sacrifice of Christ!