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 been in a high mountainous region where you are able to shout and hear your echo? If you have, you were probably amused and amazed at the distinctness of the resonance and sound of your echo. The sound of the echo is a parallel of the words and sounds you uttered. Paul commends the fiery witness of the church at Thessalonica. He said that “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.”
We see a thermal PERSONA.
The church at Thessalonica was a church on fire for God! Here was a church that was birthed out of strong Bible preaching and reasoning from the Word of God. The believers in this church accepted the association with Paul, Timothy, and Silas as “these that have turned the world upside down.” Paul describes the passion of this church in vs. 3 when he said, “Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.” The best reputation a church should have is that of being fervent, zealous, and enthusiastic for the Lord. Jesus described John the Baptist as “a burning and a shining light.” Is your personality on fire for the Lord?
We see a thriving PERFORMANCE.
“And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.” From the very day that souls were saved and the church was started, this church was fruitful. They followed the pattern established by Paul and his colleagues. They wholly followed the Lord in His Word and commandments. The fullness and fruit of the Holy Spirit was evident in their works. In spite of persecution, this church made strong progress and moved forward spiritually and numerically. I believe the motto of this church was, “We can do more!”
We see a thorough PERMEATION.
“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.” The best description of this church is that it echoed forth the gospel so that a great impact was made in all of Macedonia and Achaia. They made it their goal to take the gospel throughout their entire region! They were so fervent, strategic, and enthusiastic about getting out the gospel that Paul and his colleagues were able to venture into other areas to advance the gospel. A church that is on fire for the Lord makes it their responsibility to reach their entire area with the gospel. They gave a loud and permeating echo of their faith! Do you have a witness that echoes? Do you have a faith that echoes loud and clear? Do you have a faith that echoes a long distance?
We see a thundering PERSUASION.
“For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” This was a church that was influential with the gospel. They demonstrated a change in their lives; they served the living God. They demonstrated a deep conviction about preaching the gospel: they worked as if Jesus was coming that very day. The people throughout Macedonia and Achaia could testify that this was a church that was making a difference.
Does your life and witness give off an echo? Is it loud or soft? Is it long or short? Is it permeating or passive? Let’s follow the model of the church at Thessalonica in our gospel echo!
Have a fervent God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Job 8-10