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READING: 1 Thessalonians 1-3 – Their Faith, Hope, & Love


The beginning of the church in Thessalonica is recorded in Acts 17. Paul and Silas, who had been in prison in Philippi, were released after Paul asserted his rights as a Roman citizen. They said goodbye to the church and went to Thessalonica where they entered the Synagogue. They taught for three Sabbath days. Then Jewish leaders turned against them; some Jews, with many devout Greeks, and “not a few of the leading women” accepted their message. No longer welcome in the Synagogue, they continued to teach until there was a mob that looked for Paul but could not find him. They dragged Jason before the city magistrates shouting, “Those who have turned the world upside down are here; Jason has received them in his home.” They demanded bail from Jason, and that night the brethren sent them away to Berea. From Berea, Paul went to Athens. He waited for Silas and Timothy. Paul was so concerned about the Thessalonians that he sent Timothy back to see how they were doing. When Timothy returned to Paul, he wrote this letter, possibly the first of his epistles, and sent Timothy back to Thessalonica with it. 

He remembered their “work of faith, labor of love, and steadfastness of hope” in his prayers for them. He had warned them of the dangers of persecution and was pleased that they, despite persecution, received the Word with joy from the Holy Spirit. They had become an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 

Then he reminded them of how he ministered to them before being driven out of town. He had the courage to preach the gospel. He had no impure motives, nor did he use trickery to persuade them. He spoke to please God, not men. He used no flattery. He said, “We were gentle among you like a nurse caring for her own children.” He said he wanted to share, not only the gospel but himself. He thanked God that they received his word, not as coming from humans, but from God. 

Paul expressed his desire to see them again. He said, “We were made orphans by being separated from you – in person, not in heart – we longed with great eagerness to see you face to face.” He said Satan blocked his way, but Paul said the Thessalonians were his “hope, or joy, or crown of boasting before the Lord Jesus at His coming.” Then he reiterated, “Yes, you are our glory and joy!” In other words, he was well pleased with their progress in the gospel. 

The short third chapter closes with Paul saying, “Now may our God and Father Himself and our Lord Jesus… make you increase and abound in love for one another… And may He so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.” 

What a benediction! 

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PRAY FOR YOURSELF 

Father in Heaven, my prayer is that I may be as faithful, loving, and hopeful as the Thessalonians. in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my precious Savior, AMEN!

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself) 

Holy Father my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we meditate on how Paul said he ministered to the Thessalonians. We need to take some important pointers from him!. I offer this prayer for myself, and for all who read this, in the precious name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN!  

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