The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. 1 Thessalonians 1:8 (NIV)
The church in Thessalonica was a bridgehead for the gospel. It is not surprising that at the end of chapter 2, Paul describes these believers as his joy and his crown (2:19).
This is the most exciting church in the New Testament, and yet some of the believers there didn’t know it. Some folks in the church thought Paul’s ministry there was a failure. That’s clear from how Paul answers them in chapter 2 of his letter:
- You know, brothers, that our visit to you was not a failure (2:1).
Obviously, some people were suggesting that it was.
- The appeal we make does not spring from error (2:3).
Some thought that it did.
- The appeal we make does not spring from… impure motives (2:3).
Some were inferring that Paul’s motives were suspect.
- Nor are we trying to trick you (2:3).
Some felt that Paul was trying to manipulate the Thessalonians for his own ends.
Sadly, some in the church, who were surrounded by a great work of God, did not have the eyes to see it. All they could see were problems, and they could not see the hand of God at work.
What are some positive things that you can see in your church? How have you seen God at work lately?