Turned from idols to Christ!

Scripture reading for October 9th: 1st Thessalonians 1:1-2:8

“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, you labor prompted by love, and you endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1st Thessalonians 1:1b-3)  Paul spent much of his time praying for the various churches that he founded.  He always found something to thank God for concerning the church.  The Thessalonian church was commended for their faith and works based on faith.

These believers had eagerly received and applied the Gospel message in their lives and according to Paul, were a model to all believers in Macedonia and Achaia.  (1st Thessalonians 1:7-8) In fact, many reports of the Thessalonians faith had come to Paul from other Christians there.  “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.” (1st Thessalonians 1:9b-10)

The Thessalonians were about fifty miles from the site of Mount Olympus in Greece.  The Greek gods said to reside there were many and powerful.  They were a big part of the culture of the country and were popular.  These believers turned from these idols to the living and true God.  Not only that, they chose to wait for the revelation of Jesus Christ from heaven.  Jesus was raised from the dead and coming back for those waiting for Him.  These Thessalonians simply trusted in Christ and the teaching of the second coming.  They chose to believe that when Christ came back, he would pour out wrath on sin and sinner.  This fear of God was a healthy motivator to live in patient expectation.

“We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.”  (1st Thessalonians 2:8) The child-like faith of these people had touched Paul’s heart.  They were such faithful and sincere believers that Paul wanted to share his life with them.  The Gospel works best when love is flowing from the preacher as well as the people.  Our living God is a God of love and will win out over all idols if given a chance!

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