The church that was established at Thessalonica was only a few years old at the time Paul wrote this letter.
Paul saw the need for this church to mature in their faith. He also saw a misunderstanding about the second coming of Jesus Christ. According to my Bible study notes, these are the two themes to this book.
At the time, the Christian church was under heavy persecution from zealous orthodox Jews, angry Greeks and the Roman empire – and many were being put to death because of their faith. As a matter of fact, Paul & Silas had come into trouble from the Jews shortly after establishing this church (read Acts 17:1-7).
If you remember some of our discussions of Acts when we went through that book together, Thessalonica was a highly diverse area with many cultural influences, introducing many confusing peagan and foreign religions. This made the establishment of First Church of Thessalonica a unique challenge.
Paul brings encouragement:
4 We know that God loves you, dear brothers and sisters, and that he chose you to be his own people. 5 For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. And you know that the way we lived among you was further proof of the truth of our message.
It’s the Holy Spirit that draws us and changes us. And, the people of Thessalonica saw this power in the lives of Paul and Silas.
Do people see the power of the Holy Spirit in your life? Would people be drawn toward God from seeing you under pressure, or would they be repelled?
Lord, I submit myself before You this morning. Fill me with your power today and remind me of who’s I am. Help me reflect Your love in spite of the persecution that goes on around me. Remind me of the consistent God-walk of men like Paul. Use my life somehow today to draw others closer to You, Lord.