I Thessalonians 1: 1-10
Paul, Silas and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace to you.
We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia–your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead–Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
Christians of today can learn from the church at Thessalonica as to how to live a life with power in the Spirit with deep conviction to become more like Christ. This letter was written to the new believers at Thessalonica to encourage and strengthen their faith. They had turned from their idols to serve the true and living God as they waited for the risen Savior to deliver them from their severe suffering and the coming wrath. They became imitators of what they had received from Paul, Silas, Timothy and the Lord by his Holy Spirit. Their faith was built up by their work; they labored in love; they were inspired by their hope in Jesus Christ.
Father we know that you have chosen us to be imitators of Christ. Fill us with your joy of the Holy Spirit that we will be strengthened to use our faith to work and labor in love and to gain endurance inspired by our hope in the return of our risen Savior–Jesus the Christ to rescue us from the coming wrath. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.