1 Thessalonians: Real Faith in a Returning King

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading


A Living Faith

Paul is writing to believers in Thessalonica (modern-day Greece), encouraging them to endure the difficulties they face by trusting in Jesus and what he has accomplished. Paul is grateful for their faith and endurance so far. He says that the way they are living out their faith gives credence to the message of the Gospel that Paul and his companions preached to them.

In other words, Jesus gives us the hope to endure. Because he was raised from the dead, we know that we also will one day be raised to live in his Kingdom. It is that hope that leads us to endure.

What’s more, the power of the Gospel is being manifested through the Thessalonians by the power of the Spirit. Just like Paul and his companions faithfully lived among them when they first visited, the Thessalonians are now also faithfully and practically living out their faith. Because of how they are living, the Gospel continues to spread.

In other words, in Paul’s mind, living out your faith is just as important as knowing and believing the right things. What good is it to know and receive the grace and mercy of God without living in a way that reflects this reality?

The book of 1 Thessalonians shows us that for Paul, following Jesus was not a private decision between an individual and God. Following Jesus impacts all areas of our lives, and our lives give credence to our message.

This means that living in a way that dishonors God with no desire for repentance hinders the message of Jesus. Put another way, how we live reflects our assurance of God’s love. If we truly believe we are forgiven and loved by God, then we desire to honor him and love others not out of obligation, but because we know we are loved and want others to also experience God’s love.

Today’s reflection:

Ask yourself: Would I want others to follow Jesus the way I am following Jesus? Paul encourages the Thessalonians to examine his life as a test of whether or not he truly is pursuing Jesus. Would we want others to examine us in the same way?