1 Thessalonians 1
By: Jaron Jones, Lead Pastor, Shine Bible Fellowship
April 26, 2018
The one time I visited New York City, I was blown away at the energy and vibe that the city had. It was Labor Day weekend and I found myself standing in Times Square at 2am one night looking around in awe! There were so many people out, so much life happening and so much passion.
Trying taking it all in was beyond exciting.
That same passion and excitement I felt in New York City that weekend, is the same excitement I imagine the Apostle Paul, as well as this church, experienced as they lived through this move of God. I imagine for Paul, trying to take in all that was happening was beyond exciting. Paul commends the church for their "work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus." He then writes with fondness as he reflects on how radically transformed by the gospel these believers were. Their radical transformation had led them to radial obedience. To top it all off, this radical obedience was demonstrated even in the face of extreme affliction.
Finally, Paul states that what was happening in the church was so powerful that they had "became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the
Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone
forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything." What God was doing in this church was so amazing that their story was going viral across the region!
Each time I read about the church at Thessolonica, I am always challenged and convicted. I often ask myself what will it take for our churches to have this same posture and zeal towards Jesus?
How can we experience revival in our city such that the move of God goes viral throughout the country? The key to what they experienced is found in verse 4 "our gospel came to you not only in word but in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction." I believe that many of our churches do a great job teaching the facts about the gospel but are not crying out to God for the power of the Spirit to work alongside. Let that be our prayer, that the gospel would be shared not only in Word but also with power and with the conviction of the Spirit.
Father we thank you for the examples in Scriptures of churches that were experiencing you in powerful ways. It is a great encouragement and challenge to our churches today. Would you fill us afresh with your Spirit so that our preaching, teaching, serving and sharing would bring powerful, transformative results in the lives of the people we touch. We pray with expectation that the same Spirit that fueled churches in the past can fuel on now and into the future. In Jesus' name, Amen.