For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. ~1 Thessalonians 1:8
Have you ever experienced making an echo? Typically, an echo effect will happen in a mountainous area where a sound that you make will repeat itself. It’s a fun experience for children and adults alike when they hear the echo of their voice or sounds. Twice the Bible uses the idea of sounding out. It has the meaning of an echo. Paul used this colorful description to praise the evangelistic effort of the church at Thessalonica.
We see the receipt.
“And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.” The believers at Thessalonica received the Word of God gladly, but also with much persecution. There was powerful evidence that their conversion was genuine and rooted in Christ. They saw the sincerity, fervency, and persistence of Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke, and they were compelled of their need for salvation. As soon as they got saved, they followed the faith of Paul and his team. Becoming followers of them means they followed the pattern of Paul. They quickly got on their heart a desire for spreading the gospel.
We see the reverberation.
We see the effect of these believers. They sounded out, or became an echo of, what they saw and heard from Paul. Peter said, “We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” An echo is an exact sound of what has gone forth. Paul told Timothy, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). We see the effort of the believers. It was a consolidated effort: the entire church was involved. It was a coordinated effort: the church synergized together, touching many lives with the gospel.
We see the reach.
It was an extensive reach. Their echo covered a very large area. Paul emphasized that “ in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad.” It was an excellent reach. Paul commended them that he and his team did not need to evangelize the areas that the Thessalonian church had reached. It is a great blessing to a pastor when the church catches the fire of evangelism and covers an area with the gospel. It was an exemplary reach. Thessalonica is a model for church evangelism.
We see the responsibility.
Like the Thessalonian believers, we have a responsibility to sound out, or echo, the Word of the Lord in every place. Our work is never finished. We are to go into all the world and preach the gospel. We are to be in a constant mode of planning, praying, reaching, winning, establishing, and growing churches. We are to echo out the same message, the same urgency, the same thoroughness, and the same results. We are challenged this morning to be an echo of the gospel. Let us permeate our communities, populate our congregations, and prioritize our commitment. Be an echo evangelist!
Have an echo God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Exodus 1-3