Paul opens the letter to the Thessalonians with thanksgiving. He is thankful for their faith, love, and patience. This was not easy for the Thessalonians. They were new believers, under persecution, and Paul had to leave. Timothy was now in charge of teaching them the things of Christ. Timothy returned to Paul and relayed to him the growth of the believers in Thessalonica. This letter was Paul’s reply.
Thanksgiving and prayer for the Church at Thessalonica (1-4)
Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; 4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
Paul begins by telling the Thessalonians’ who is writing this letter and to whom it is addressed. He then blesses the church. He prays that grace and peace would be on the church from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. He is thankful for the church at Thessalonica and prays for them.
So why is Paul so pleased? They responded to the call of God. The evidence was seen in their work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Can that be said of us? Are we willingly submitted to God? We live in a time and culture where there is little or no persecution. So are we actively ministering for Jesus? We need to. People are still not saved, believers still do not know the word of God, and the ones that do fail to obey God’s truth. Now is our time to act.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001