Paul visited Thessalonica during his second missionary journey and planted the church to which he now writes. His mission in this letter was to celebrate their faithfulness, encourage them to be steadfast and point them to the blessed hope God has in store for us all. This message, like Paul’s other writings, are meant to be an encouragement to all Christ followers to stay the course and trust the heart of God.
1 Thess. 1:2-3 (CSB) We always thank God for all of you, making mention of you constantly in our prayers. 3 We recall, in the presence of our God and Father, your work produced by faith, your labor motivated by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ
1. Our faith should drive us to action
Vs 3a We recall, in the presence of our God and Father, your work produced by faith…
Paul gives us the first glimpse of his later writing in 1 Cor. 13 here…”faith, hope, love” – the importance of these cannot be minimized
Our faith in Christ should produce good things
“We are not saved by faith plus works, but by a faith that works.”– Warren Wiersbe
Labor (ko-pos) conveys the idea of “toil and trouble”
This was not a simple act on the part of believers but a deliberate action because of their love for others
3. Our love is strengthened in our hope
Vs 3c … and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Endurance (He-poe-mo-NAY) = residing, staying for the long haul
They were willing to go the distance because of what was ahead
1 Thess. 4:13ff is a picture of the promised future
4. Our witness will change the world
1 Thess. 1:7-10 (CSB) As a result, you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 For the word of the Lord rang out from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place that your faith, in God has gone out. Therefore, we don’t need to say anything, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception we had from you: 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—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath
Their faithfulness to God’s Word and God’s will became an example not only at home but it spread throughout the world because they were willing to “go”
What you do here impacts there!
5. Stand strong no matter what
1 Thess. 2:4 (CSB) Instead, just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please people, but rather God, who examines our hearts
Paul had been severely mistreated in Philippi but he shares here that he was not deterred in his mission
Verse 2 states they were “emboldened” in their work because of their opposition
This boldness came because they knew their mission was to serve God, not man
“If there is ineffectiveness within the church or the individual, it has little to do with methodology, persecution, leadership vacuums, or ecclesiastical structures. Instead, it comes from being less than convinced that we deal with truth (the message). It comes from trying to please anyone or anything other than God (the motive).”