“We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:2
Scripture reading: Psalm 65:1-14
Although there were various things and various teachings within the congregation that needed to be addressed and corrected by the apostles, Paul opens his letter to them with thanksgiving. He had many reasons to give thanks. You see, Paul thanks God for the spiritual condition of the members of the church at Thessalonica. His preaching has borne fruit. He gives himself no credit for that, but gives all the credit and glory to God. Paul was well aware that the Lord gives rebirth, conversion and faith, according to His own good pleasure and he knew that preachers (himself included), could bring the preached Word no further than to the human ear. Paul was well aware that in order for the word to take root and bear fruit the Lord has to apply it to the heart of those He has called to receive it. Paul had planted and watered and the Lord had given increase. For that blessing of rebirth, he thanks God. For the blessing of rebirth in the hearts of the members of the church in Thessalonica, Paul gives thanks.
We notice that Paul brought individuals of the congregation to mind, one by one. He says he gives thanks to God always, for all of you. He thanks God that there was evidence in Thessalonica that the congregation translated faith into action. They worked in love and persevered through hope.
Suggestions for prayer
Thank God that He has and continues to provide the means of grace for you and your family. Pray that your heart may be open and responsive to that word every time it comes to you. Pray that the church may give thanks to God for you.
Rev. Mark Zylstra is an emeritus minister of the United Reformed Churches in North America. He and his wife Corrie, live in Smithville ON and their home church is Wellandport, ON URC. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.