Daily Devotional: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-4

Paul has Silvanus and Timothy with him. As is customary for Paul, he includes them in the writing of his letter. He writes to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ—that is in His name. Paul’s trinitarian theology shows at the start. Paul begins with a blessing: Grace to you and peace. In all of Paul’s letters, I recognize the Apostle’s attitude toward other believers. I think we can learn much from the attitude with which he writes. He always begins with a blessing. Even when he speaks about difficult things, Paul is interested in blessing the church rather than cursing her. If we spoke with as much blessing even when we had to speak about difficult things today, many church atmospheres would be much different. We try to do many things to correct what we see as problems. Perhaps all we need to do is speak with blessing rather than accusation or complaint. The grace and peace of God be with you.

Paul tells the Thessalonians that they (himself, Silvanus, and Timothy) always give thanks to God for all the Thessalonian believers, mentioning them in prayer and constantly bearing in mind their works of faith, labor of love, and steadfastness of hope in Jesus Christ. This church loves the Father through Christ, and her works to edify the saints and serve the community evidence their love for Christ. We pay close attention, here. The church does not work to earn the love of the Father in Christ. The church does work because the Father has already loved her and she loves Christ. Works and community engagement are evidence of our love for Christ. You don’t have to argue someone who loves Christ into practicing evangelism or gathering with the local church to serve. They just do it because Christ is everything to them. Such is evident in Thessalonica. Because of the local church’s works and labors, their election is evident—it is evident that God chose them.


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