God’s Word Goes Forth: Encourage One Another in Faith
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10: In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, he sends greetings to the followers of Christ at Thessalonica. He thanks them for becoming examples of faithfulness and love for all the followers throughout Greece, and he affirms their worship.
Today's Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 1:4
Our friends, we know that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own.
1 From Paul, Silas, and Timothy— To the people of the church in Thessalonica, who belong to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: May grace and peace be yours. 2 We always thank God for you all and always mention you in our prayers. 3 For we remember before our God and Father how you put your faith into practice, how your love made you work so hard, and how your hope in our Lord Jesus Christ is firm. 4 Our friends, we know that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own. 5 For we brought the Good News to you, not with words only, but also with power and the Holy Spirit, and with complete conviction of its truth. You know how we lived when we were with you; it was for your own good. 6 You imitated us and the Lord; and even though you suffered much, you received the message with the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit. 7 So you became an example to all believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 For not only did the message about the Lord go out from you throughout Macedonia and Achaia, but the news about your faith in God has gone everywhere. There is nothing, then, that we need to say. 9 All those people speak about how you received us when we visited you, and how you turned away from idols to God, to serve the true and living God 10 and to wait for his Son to come from heaven—his Son Jesus, whom he raised from death and who rescues us from God's anger that is coming.
Most of the followers in the Thessalonian church were Gentiles whose previous religious practices had included the worship of local gods or goddesses. They turned away from cultural norms to follow Christ. What cultural norms must you challenge in order to follow Christ?
Lord God, there are times when you call me to be loving when it might be hard to do so, to give when I would rather receive, and to stand for justice in an unjust world. Strengthen me to hear your call and follow it as your faithful disciple. Amen.
Those who speak out for justice