WE’RE PRAYING FOR YOU
My Friend, thank You for always being there for me.
Read 1 Thessalonians 1
1 Paul, Silas[a] and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace to you.
Thanksgiving for the Thessalonians’ Faith
2 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3 We 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.
4 For we know, brothers and sisters[b] loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you 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—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWith whom do you have specific memories of spending life-giving, faith-building time?
It is within the setting of severe suffering and persecution that the Thessalonian church is living out their faith. Paul can empathize with this: among his many other trials, before reaching Thessalonica, in Philippi he and Silas were sent to jail and flogged (Acts 16). In the same astounding way that Paul and Silas sang songs in prison, the Thessalonians welcome his message ‘with joy.’ What does this similarity tell us (6)?
During and since his visit, the Thessalonians have made an impression on Paul with their faith, love, and endurance (3). He has seen the amazing impact of a dynamic gospel expression on their lives (5). From those few who were brave enough to respond to the message in the synagogues and take the first steps to follow the resurrected Jesus (Acts 17), they are now a community with a reputation (7). What is their reputation for (3,8–10)?
In this initial greeting of the letter, the Thessalonians are reminded that those who know and understand them, who initially shared the gospel with them, and who dedicated time and energy to live alongside them, are still praying for them. There may be churches you know of that have a real impact in the communities around them. How could you partner with them in prayer?
Who can you encourage today in their faith? Remind them that they are in your prayers.
Thank You, Jesus, for my fellow believers who have been there for me. I pray that You will strengthen them today.