9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,
Paul starts his letter to the Thessalonians with praise and encouragement. The readers of Paul’s letter used to worship other deities, but have since put their trust in the Lord after hearing the Gospel preached by Paul a couple of months earlier in one of his missions trips. The readers of First Thessalonians are currently facing persecution, and it’s in light of this that Paul now writes to the church to encourage them by stating how glad he is to see how open they were and still are to receive the teachings he had brought but also to hear from believers from other regions of the transformation that occurred in their lives.
The image of water creating a ripple effect when a stone is thrown into water comes to mind when reading this verse. In the same way that the first ripple creates another ripple in the water, similarly, the news of the new-found faith of the Thessalonians and their testimony spread to other regions (creating a ripple effect) which Paul is praising them for. May this be an encouragement for us as we choose to follow Jesus, wherever we go knowing we are creating a ripple effect for God’s glory.
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
Today, take a moment, wherever you are, to ASK God to move in your life: Share what’s on your heart, asking God to provide, protect and encourage you.