Luther Seminary God Pause
Wednesday, 10/15/2014 Reading: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Stories of conversion and transformation have been a part of literary history since writing first began. The stories seem to pique our interest, especially when we see connections with our own struggles and then see how the changes in a character's life echo changes that we also see in our own lives. What is it that moves us toward conversion?
The church of the Thessalonians was also struck by a change and conversion. The gospel comes to them "not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction" (vs. 5). It sparks a transformation in a people who worshipped idols but now are turned toward a new relationship with God. The Holy Spirit blows into our lives and creates transformation that leads us into a deeper and fuller relationship with God and with our neighbor. Our selfish nature and our worship of idols is changed. Through the power of the Spirit we are freed to serve and love this living God.
Transforming God, you have called us from our lives of selfishness and idolatry through the sharing of your gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit. Fill us with your power as we reach out to those around us in love and service. Amen.>
Scott Peterson Pastor, Prince of Faith Lutheran Church, Calgary, Alberta, Canada Master of Divinity, 1996
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 (NRSV)
1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. 2 We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly 3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers and sisters beloved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our message of the gospel came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of persons we proved to be among you for your sake. 6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it. 9 For the people of those regions report about us what kind of welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead--Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.
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