As believers, we have an ancient faith with a modern face! Even though this letter is nearly 2000yrs old, the contents of it still apply today, and the practices and problems of these early Christ Followers are still essentially the same for us today in 2019.
So, what can we learn about our ancient faith from these 6verses? And what is God speaking to you about from them today for your life?
In vs2 we read that Paul and his team were constantly in prayer for these believers. He had shared the Gospel with them but then after only 2-3 weeks had to leave Thessalonica.
So now, separated from them, he continued with what he could do – Paul kept on praying for them. An incredible amount of impact can be made simply through being on our knees in prayer!
Paul knew that he could not assist these believers physically, but he knew that prayer was not just some blessed thoughts but essential for their growth in God and their protection in what was a hostile situation.
Paul was, therefore, constant in prayer for them. How about your life? Is prayer a constant in your life? Prayer is ‘weakness leaning on omnipotence’ – WS Boyd. Are you leaning on God through prayer for others who’s life situations vitally need you praying for them?
“Prayer is an ordinary means to accomplish supernatural ends.” – Mark Dever
Paul goes on to recount how these believers in Thessalonica responded to the Gospel (vs3-5)
The Gospel didn’t leave them unchanged; rather it resulted in three things;
- Work/effort that resulted from their faith in Jesus
- Labour motivated by love for God & people
- And steadfastness inspired by their hope in Jesus
When we are genuinely saved, we are not left unchanged. Thorough changes begin from deep within us but in time become evident to ourselves and to others.
Our energy is diverted & directed towards the things of God. Our efforts become motivated by the new central love in our hearts – love for God. And our lives become secure and stable because our eyes are fixed on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
Think about the Gospel’s impact on your life. How has the Gospel redirected your life’s energy? How has your life-motivation changed? And how has your vision of the future been impacted because of what you know about Jesus?
Lastly, (vs5) Paul knew that these believers were truly saved because of the way that the power of God broke out amongst them when they believed. As Christ followers they were filled with the Holy Spirit and also filled with conviction.
Pray for greater demonstrations of the power of God in your life and in the life of your church. And pray for a real sense of conviction regarding the truth of the Gospel.