Remember in Chapter One we noted –
A. The Message manifested by the missionary’s lives 1 Thessalonians 1:1-6
1. They were caring – for the saints. Love that remembers. 1:1
2. They were committed – to the saints. 1:2-4 “…remembering…” to have on their minds
3. They were consistent – for the saints. 1:5,6 “as ye know what manner of men we were”
They were developing a lifelong practice of ministry in carrying out the commission of the Lord Jesus Christ. They gave the church a pattern to follow until the Lord returns.
They were able to praise the Lord for His working in their lives. They saw that He had brought them through it and not only this, they saw HOW He has used them for His honour and glory. He had made them leaders because they were faithful followers.
We asked last week –
Are you following the Lord in such a way that He would want someone to follow you?
This morning we continue to look at their ministry and see –
B. The Movement of God through His Word is recorded by the missionaries. 1 Thessalonians 1:7-10
This is, of course, the plan of God as noted in His Command –
Matthew 28:18-20 (KJV) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Paul, Silas, and Timothy noted the change God wrought in the lives of these people by their –
1. Public Testimony 1:7,8
The testimony of this church gave joy and encouragement to the missionaries. Note the Apostle John’s response to the faithfulness of those he had brought to the Lord for salvation –
3 John 4 (KJV) I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
The Lord blesses us through the actions of those we have the opportunity to minister His Word to. Paul experienced this throughout his ministry. Note his statement to the saints in Philippi –
Philippians 2:1-2 (KJV) If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Some believe that their actions should not have any affect on others. They dismiss the importance of doctrine. They declare that God will, and should, accept their lives and worship according to their definition of truth, not necessarily His. We are to be single minded with God and one another. This is only accomplished when our lives are based on His Word. We must then study to know what God is telling us. Many claim that this is not important, but it means everything because this is how God identifies us with Himself!
God changes us. He prepares us to work out our salvation for His glory –
Ephesians 2:8-10 (KJV) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
– and those around us are aware of that change. Our prayer is that they will want to trust God as their Saviour, but, sad to say, often, they reject God and us, becoming angry with us.
1 Peter 4:4 (KJV) Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
We can thank the Lord that while those that we were with before may reject us, we have a new family that loves us and are encouraged by our testimony in the Lord!
By their –
2. Personal devotion to God. 1:9 “…turned to God from Idols to serve the living and true God.”
And by their –
3. Positive expectation of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to take them unto Himself. 1:10
The hearers were changed by belief in the message. When people believed, the missionaries rejoiced over those that trusted in God and were encouraged that they were leaving behind a testimony for those that did not believe yet. Maybe they would in time!
The missionaries rejoiced in the work of God. They anticipated that what the Lord had done, He would continue to do. He increased both their faith and their expectations.
Again – As He did something through them, He did something to them!
Is God working through you today? Do you want Him to?
Will we be like the servants the Psalmist spoke of –
Psalm 123:1-4 (KJV) A Song of degrees. Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us. Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt. Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.
Are our eyes directed by our hearts upward to the Lord, seeking His leadership, watching for His direction, needing the guidance of His hands in our lives. Will you look to Him today?