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1 Thessalonians 1:1-20 (ESV)
1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
The Thessalonians’ Faith and Example
2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, 3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere so that we need not say anything. 9 For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and 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 delivers us from the wrath to come.
What convinced Paul that the people of this church were chosen by God?
Lord, thank You for Your church. It is more than a place to make friends and have community with others because there are many social clubs that can do that as well. What makes your church different is Your Spirit, Your Word that shows itself in the work of faith, the labor of love, and the steadfastness of hope in the Lord Jesus Christ. Help Shepherd of the Hills be a church full of faith, love, and hope. Make our church a good example and an inspiration to others. Let our faith in You spill out in how we care and serve each other, the local community, throughout the nation, and across the globe so that our actions speak of Your love to others. But it is not enough to simply live out the Christian life, we need to tell people about You and what You have done for all. It is a wonderful privilege as well as a great responsibility to proclaim the gospel. Give me the strength, energy, and enthusiasm to keep telling people the good news about Jesus even when it is not popular or uncomfortable to do so. Don’t let my behavior be a distraction but an example for others to learn and follow. Words will not have a lasting effect unless my actions are consistent with the message. I pray that Shepherd of the Hills be a church worthy of imitation where the gospel rings out not only in our own local area but everywhere we serve to spread the gospel. Amen