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Summary: God is calling His church to serve Him and share the gospel... It's time to BE the church!

LABOR OF LOVE

INTRODUCTION

READ 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 (quickview) 

2 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Today, we’re going to take a look at this “labor of love” found in 1 Thessalonians chapter 1. The early church set the example… We’re going to see what we can learn from their example… Let’s jump in…

READ 1 Thessalonians 1:6-9 (quickview) 

6 So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord. 7 As a result, you have become an example to all the believers in Greece—throughout both Macedonia and Achaia. 8 And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don’t need to tell them about it, 9 for they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God.

We’re going to focus on 4 things from this passage this morning… 4 things that are important ingredients in order to have a healthy church…

1. THEY RECEIVED GOD’S WORD (1:6)

First, they received God’s word… READ 1 Thessalonians 1:6 (quickview) 

6 So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord.

The Apostle Paul was a missionary who started the church in Thessalonica… We can read about how that church was started by reading Acts 17:1-4 (quickview) 

1 When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah, ”he said. 4 Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.

The first ingredient in a healthy church is that you have believers in Jesus Christ… “Church” is not just a place where we go and worship together… “Church” is a gathering of believers… WE are the “church”… the church is people… people who belong to Jesus… people who gather together to worship God… To have a healthy church, you must start by having believers in Jesus Christ.

If there is anyone here who has not placed their faith in Jesus Christ… then you are still dead in your sins… You may be “going to church”, but that doesn’t make you a Christian… I can go to a basketball game, but that doesn’t make me one of the players… Be part of the team… Place your faith in Jesus Christ… He will set you free and give you a new life… This is what God’s word promises us… Receive God’s word… Be the church.


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