Greetings from Paul
1 This letter is from Paul, Silas,[a] and Timothy.
We are writing to the church in Thessalonica, to you who belong to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
May God give you grace and peace.
The Faith of the Thessalonian Believers
2 We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. 3 As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.
4 We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people. 5 For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you. 6 So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord. 7 As a result, you have become an example to all the believers in Greece—throughout both Macedonia and Achaia.[d]
8 And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don’t need to tell them about it, 9 for they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God. 10 And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment.
2 things I really like about this chapter are that it’s an incredibly encouraging chapter, and also that it’s really short. lol
It is obvious that the Thessalonian people fully accepted the gospel message and it appears everyone around them knows it. They have seen the change in them and it seems it is very contagious.
One verse really caught me attention, which was vs. 5. For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. They not only heard the Good News, but experience a mighty movement of the Spirit, whatever that might have looked like. But it gave them ‘full assurance’.
And this is the same assurance we have as well. When we accept Christ’s forgiveness, we, too, are given the Holy Spirit. Our lives will be and continue to be transformed by the incredible power of the Spirit. I can remember 3 distinct things that happened immediately by the power of the Spirit the minute I gave me life to the Lord. First, all those years of criticizing certain verse and stories in the bible suddenly transformed into understanding. Second, I had an incredible desire to go to church. My family could not get out the door fast enough to go to church that next Sunday. What a miracle. And third, and I noticed this very soon after, I no longer had any desire to social drink just to ‘fit in’. That was the beginning of my transformation. The Spirit is still hard at work in other stubborn areas, but I too can say for certain the Spirit lives within me.
The bible talks about the fruit of the Spirit, traits that will be increased and improved as we allow the Spirit to work in us. Ask ourselves this question today, are the fruits of the Spirit more prevalent in your life today than they used to be? Am I more loving, kinder, more patient? Do I exercise better self control? What has changed in my life since being saved that can only be atrributed to the power of the Holy Spirit?
Today, give thanks for your assurance, the Holy Spirit, in your life. Give thanks for the work He has done in you, and pray for help in those stubborn areas.