1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly 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 and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. For the people of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.
Food for Thought:
My favorite line in this passage of Scripture is that “You became an example to all believers.” This is a powerful line of Scripture from the apostle Paul about our call to be an example to others in the Christian faith. For some of us, this example is difficult to maintain in the midst of trials and tribulations or everyday annoyances. More often than I would like to admit, I am not the example that I need to be. I have a friend named Judy who is always a constant sense of joy and positive attitude. She is a shining example of what it means to live out her Christian faith. I have never seen Judy say a bad thing about anyone. Judy truly lives out her call to be a Christian in what she does and says. How can we be more like the Judys of this world? How can we act in such a way that we show others that our faith in Christ is deeply rooted in our love for neighbor? My favorite thing about Judy is that she doesn’t want to be noticed. She acts kindly and speaks kindly because of her profound love for God. Think about some of the Judys in your life and what they have taught you about your faith and how you can better live out your call to be a Christian.
Creator of all, you have called us and chosen us to be your people. By the power of your Holy Spirit may we bear witness with joy and conviction to the good news of Jesus Christ in what we do and say. In your sacred name we pray, Amen.