Spend time in prayer and silence with God, asking Him to meet with you and speak to you.
We always thank God for all of you, making mention of you constantly in our prayers. We recall, in the presence of our God and Father, your work produced by faith, your labor motivated by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that He has chosen you, because our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, in the Holy Spirit, and with full assurance. You know how we lived among you for your benefit, and you yourselves became imitators of us and of the Lord when, in spite of severe persecution, you welcomed the message with joy from the Holy Spirit.
– 1 Thessalonians 1:2-6
Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians was intended as a message of comfort and instruction to those who were experiencing significant persecution. Paul commends the Thessalonians for three things: their “work produced by faith,” their “labor motivated by love,” and their “endurance inspired by hope.” As a result of the gospel being preached there, they became “imitators” of Christ. There is a vital connection between the description of their discipleship and their activity. The “work produced by faith” consisted of them turning “to God from idols,” the “endurance inspired by hope” in waiting for Christ’s return from heaven. Throughout the letter, these great facts are recognized, illustrated, and applied.
The Big Question
How has the gospel transformed your life? Do you find strength and comfort in Jesus’ promise that one day He will return (second advent) to set up His kingdom? Are you facing suffering, trials, and/or persecution today? How does the Thessalonians’ example encourage you today?
Conclude your time in prayer and silence, reflecting on what God revealed to you today.