Wednesday after Twelfth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 (NKJV)
1:1 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.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
The salvation of the Thessalonians is a testimony to the power of the Word of God. Many within the Church in that place had been pagans, but the faithfulness which the Lord worked among them was so remarkable that vast multitudes of men near and far witnessed the conviction of the Thessalonian Christians: “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…”
St. Paul teaches that the Word of the Lord is an instrument of the Holy Spirit, which accomplishes that for which the Lord has sent it: “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.” The efficacy of the Word is not restricted to the powers of rhetoric—far from it! It is a powerful Word through which the Holy Spirit works and sustains faith in those who are brought to faith.
The faithfulness of the saints in that place is not something which arose in the absence of opposition; rather, the proclamation of the Gospel was accompanied by persecution: “And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit…” The faith which the Holy Spirit created and sustained through the Word was not overwhelmed by such persecution, instead, it thrived.
We pray: Almighty and Merciful God, of whose only gift it comes that Thy faithful people do unto Thee true and laudable service, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may so faithfully serve Thee in this life that we fail not finally to attain Thy heavenly promises; through Jesus Thy Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.