This epistle is known to be the first letter written by the apostle Paul while in Corinth, shortly after the Thessalonians church was founded, around A.D. 51. This epistle was written before the Roman, Galatian and the Corinthian Letters.
He begins by identifying himself, Silvanus and Timothy as respectively the authors and editors of Paul’s letter to the believers in Thessalonica.
“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 from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Thessalonians 1:1)
Paul, Silas and Timothy had actually planted the Thessalonians church during their missionary journey across the southern region of what is now Europe. The apostle’s greetings though formal, contained both basis elements of the Christian faith.
“2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, 3 remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, 4 knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.” (Thessalonians 1:2-4)
Remembering to mention prayer, a powerful source of strength at a time when the Thessalonians needed it most, Paul reminds believers of the fulfillment we are called to seek as we glorify God in all our ways. Those in Christ are to rely on prayer with confidence this time spent with our creator will reap a harvest beyond measure.
Because Thessalonica was a popular city along a busy commerce channel, its residents found themselves exposed to all sorts of teaching. The apostle saw it important to write his first letter to this audience whose temptation was greater than the Christians of the time.
“5 For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.” (Thessalonians 1:5)
Paul makes reference to the gospel and the Holy Spirit both, as weapons of salvation to be used against spiritual foes and hypocrites looking to prey on the weak.
“6 And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe.” (Thessalonians 1:6-7)
Believers in Thessalonica followed in Paul and his missionaries’ footsteps, just as themselves followed Jesus Christ. Through the Holy Spirit the Thessalonians would inspire the spiritually curious to come face to face with the miracle that was Jesus, and the miracle to come in the second coming of Christ, the savior of man.
Macedonia was the Roman province to which Thessalonica was the capital, as Ephesus was to the province of Achaia. Paul wanted to give praise to the believers in Thessalonica for their influence throughout the region, no doubt inspired by the Holy Spirit who richly dwells within all of God’s children.
“8 For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything.” (Thessalonians 1:8)
The Thessalonians’ faith was growing so rapidly it preceded the apostle on his journey, where he found himself in awe among a people whose eyes and ears were already softened by our divine Father, as part of His perfect plan.
“9 For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to 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, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” (Thessalonians 1:9-10)
Paul describes his mission field as one well educated in the Lord’s ways. The apostle gives praise to the Thessalonians for their works as he witnessed Christ’s wave of confidence stretch out before him, powered by the Holy Spirit.
A powerful people driven by purpose, the Thessalonian church is at the root of countless lives saved from hades. Their impact should serve as a source of inspiration for those seeking courage in challenging times as each one of us works out our salvation in this life, so we can rejoice with God in the next. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre