The writer Paul continues his letter to the church in Thessalonica, encouraging, comforting, and urging them. They’re experiencing very real persecution and opposition, as we will anytime that we live in a way that reflects God’s Kingdom. Paul reminds the church that his motives are not to please others or to promote himself but for God. This is faith in action. We have to ask ourselves, “What are my motives?” What are we doing, and who are we doing it for? Because the minute our goal is to promote ourselves by pleasing others, the advancement of the Gospel stops in us. Paul goes on to encourage the church to figure out how to be family together. When we do the work of preferring others over ourselves in showing love, we become family members. We’re called to show this kind of love to everyone that we meet, not to earn God’s favor but because God has already shown us that same love. The church in Thessalonica, and Paul himself, was experiencing persecution. That’s the reason Paul was writing to them instead of visiting them. And yet, the fact that we, thousands of years later, are still reading Paul’s letters to the church, is a display of the hope that we have in God. Even when we’re faced with persecution and opposition, God is more than powerful enough and merciful enough to use it for good.
- 1 Thessalonians 2:1 - 20