from Lynda Lindsey
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. I Thessalonians 1:2-3
They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead—-Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. I Thessalonians 1:9(b)-10
For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into His kingdom and glory. I Thessalonians 2:11-12
Always thanking God for you. Always praying for you. Continually remembering your faithfulness to God. Who wouldn’t want to receive a letter so filled with encouragement? Paul is addressing a young church filled with believers who had not yet matured in faith. They had turned away from idol worship to embrace Jesus. They were enduring persecution. Many had sacrificed everything to follow the Lord. Paul entreats this loyal group of Christians to continue in faithful service, reminding them that their current life is not all there is...Jesus will come again to set all wrongs right.
Paul’s desire for his beloved children in the Lord is to see them grow, mature, and live lives worthy of God. Hope in Christ’s return enables believers to remain strong in faith regardless of circumstances. Mature hope, however, doesn’t render us passive bystanders. Because of our faith, we work. Because of our love, we labor. Because of our hope, we endure. The gospel came not just with words, but with power from the Holy Spirit. Because of this power, we have deep conviction. And joy!
The Word of God, both Living and Written, is at work in us who believe. God calls. We answer. We receive and welcome Him. The power of God’s Holy Spirit blows through our life like a freshening wind. We work. We serve. We share the Gospel and our lives with others. We strengthen and encourage others. We bring comfort. We pray. We endure. We hope. We wait. We live faithfully and expectantly...because Jesus is coming again! Count on it. It’s a sure and certain hope!