Verse: 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5
4 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.

I am struck by the four ways that Paul says the gospel message came to them. As I reflect on this verse devotionally, I’m asking if I am experiencing the message of the gospel in these ways.

Is the word of God a part of my life? Am I allowing it to penetrate my heart and speak to me? I love his prophecy from the book of Isaiah (55:11):

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

God’s word, as it goes into my heart, and into my life, does not return to him empty. It accomplishes a deep work in my life. It shapes me and molds me and leads me ultimately (and most importantly) to Jesus.

Is my prayer life marked by power? Am I praying prayers for God’s power to impact not only my life, but the life of those around me? When the gospel message truly captures our lives, we believe in a God who taught us to pray “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). When we pray for God’s kingdom to come, we are praying for his power to be shown on earth! We are praying for lives to be restored, relationships to be mended, bodies to be healed, and hearts to be filled.

Am I living my life filled with the Holy Spirit? Galatians 5:25 encourages us that “If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” This is a daily, moment by moment, invitation to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. He wants to speak lovingly to our hearts. He wants to direct us with wisdom. He wants to guide us into ministry opportunities. So much of the life of a Christian is learning to keep in step with the Holy Spirit.

Finally we see that Paul’s message came with deep conviction. I love this. He wasn’t wavering in his commitment. It was a deep seated belief and conviction in the way of Jesus. Let this be true of me! You see his conviction took him into so many sacrificial situations. But each was led by the Spirit. Do we have that same conviction?

I pray that my faith would grow in all of these areas. That you would inspire me to live a life fully committed to you Lord.

Author: Christian Dunn