While ministering to the people in the Greek city of Corinth, Paul wrote two letters to the new church which God had used him to start in the Greek city of Thessalonika.
The first letter was written when Timothy rejoined Paul in Corinth, bringing with him a good report on the church in Thessalonika (284).
Paul began by sending greetings from himself, Silas & Timothy. Then he praised the Thessalonian believers for turning away from the worship of ungodly idols, and turning to the worship of the one true God. Their miraculous transformation was a powerful witness for Jesus everywhere it was made known.
Paul fondly remembered how the Holy Spirit had inspired his Thessalonian friends to receive eagerly the good news of God’s kingdom. He had loved sharing the good news about Jesus with them. But Paul also loved them, as dearly as a mother loves her nursing baby. Paul saw his love for the Thessalonians as a direct extension of his love for God.
Next Paul reminded the Thessalonians that persecution by unbelieving Jews was the common lot of Christians — in Thessalonika as in Jerusalem & elsewhere. And he expressed great pleasure & satisfaction with their faithful endurance — saying he would be glad to present them to Jesus when they would all meet in heaven.
Because he had been concerned for them, Paul had sent Timothy to see how the young church was faring in his absence. Hearing from Timothy that the Thessalonians continued to stand firm in God, Paul exulted, “Now I really live!”
God, please help me to love Your people as You do.
(284) 1 Thessalonians 1-3