Work inspired by faith!

Scripture reading for September 14th:  1st Thessalonians 1

Paul wrote his letter to the Thessalonians about six months after he had founded the church there in response to Timothy’s report to him.  He had left there abruptly because of persecution and later sent Timothy back to check on them.  (See Acts 17:1-9)  He wanted to encourage and instruct the young church in the way of Christ.

“We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.  We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (1st Thessalonians 1:2-3)  Faith, hope and love all worked together to bring thanksgiving to Paul’s prayer for them.  Timothy had told him of their work to reach the lost there because of their faith in the Gospel message.  The love of Jesus Christ poured out into their hearts by the Holy Spirit had prompted them to love others into the kingdom.  They had kept at the work in spite of persecution because of the hope of eternal life.

“For we know, brothers loved by God, that He has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. . . . You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.  . . The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia–your faith in God has become known everywhere.”  (1st Thessalonians 1:4-8)

The brothers and sisters there had observed Paul’s conduct in the short time he was with them and responded to the Gospel message by faith.  They imitated Paul and Jesus Christ, sharing the Gospel in spite of threats on their lives. Their faith was inspiring others!

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