4Dear brothers and sisters, you are dearly loved by God and we know that he has chosen you to be his very own. 5For our gospel came to you not merely in the form of words but in mighty power infused with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. Surely you remember how we lived our lives transparently before you to encourage you. 6And you became followers of my example and the Lord’s when you received the word with the joy of the Holy Spirit, even though it resulted in tremendous trials and persecution. 7Now you have become an example for all the believers to follow throughout the provinces of Greece. 8The message of the Lord has sounded out from you not only in Greece, but its echo has been heard in every place where people are hearing about your strong faith. We don’t need to brag on you, 9for everyone tells the story of the kind of welcome you showed us when we first came to you. And everyone knows how wonderfully you turned to God from idols to serve the true and living God.