Our scripture this morning is 1 Thessalonians 1:2-6.
We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. 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. We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people. For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you. So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord.
Paul was sometimes a little stern in his teaching, but this passage shows his loving care for those to whom he ministers. He reassures the church at Thessalonica that “God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people” (v. 4). We all need continuing encouragement to walk faithfully and live in the strength of fellowship.
He tells us that when the Good News is shared the Holy Spirit will testify to its truth, “not only with words but also with power” (v. 5). The blessing Jesus brought us is much more than uplifting platitudes, it is life itself! When we tell others about Christ’s saving grace for us, the Holy Spirit is there to amplify the message.
Jesus gave us the joyful task of going to the world so everyone may know God’s love. We need to encourage each other in this work, as Paul did in the early church. We have the promise from Jesus that the Holy Spirit will fill us as we carry His story to everyone.
Loving Lord, thank You for calling us to be part of Your plan of salvation. Help us to go in Your name that all may know Your love. Amen.