1 Thessalonians 1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:
7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
This Pauline epistle is addressed to believers in Thessalonica. It opens with an expression of joy and thanksgiving for their work and labour. Paul then reminded them how they came to be followers of him and of the Lord after they received the word through much affliction. Paul praised them for their faithful example to those in Macedonia and Achaia. In fact, they were so faithful that Paul said when He arrived in Macedonia and Achaia, he did not need to speak a word because of the example of the Thessalonian believers. Their testimony spread to these locations, as well as in “every place.” Paul knew he could trust these saints to be dependable witnesses of the gospel. What an incredible relief and wonderful blessing this must have been for the apostle Paul.
· (For children): A younger child sees you listening to the preaching. He also notices you joining in singing during the entire song service. He truly wants to be just like you. By showing him the right way, his mother and father might not have to correct him so often and the Lord will reward you one day for your faithfulness.
· (For everyone): Paul frequently traveled into cities unfamiliar to the gospel. How did the Thessalonian believers make Paul’s task so much easier as he entered a new area? What had changed about these believers that convinced many in Macedonia and Achaia of their genuine conversion?
· What kind of testimony do you have with those around you? If someone knocked on the door of your extended family and invited everyone to church, would the task be harder or easier because of you?
· Can the Lord depend upon you to lead people to the truth? Ask Him to help you be a brighter light for the truth of the gospel.
· Ask God to reveal the effect that you have upon others. Ask Him to help you change when you see yourself setting the wrong example.