Do You Enjoy Your Relationship with Jesus?

1 Thessalonians 1:4-5 – For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.

After looking at the list of “prescriptions” for a healthy soul from yesterday’s devo, which Paul closes 1 Thessalonians with, it’s important to notice that these kinds of things are not our works, or what we do to earn God’s love and favor. Instead, these kinds of things are graces, because God works for us, in us, and through us. I teach this all the time to the wonderful people at our church. 

God did a work for us through the perfect life, substitutionary death, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ that we can access by faith. 

God does a work in us by the Holy Spirit, giving us a new nature, new heart, new mind, and new desires to obey Him. 

God does a work through us by the Holy Spirit, or what the Bible calls the “fruit of the Spirit”. Jesus says the same thing, saying that He is the vine, and we are the branches. 

Paul established all of this in the opening lines of his letter. Paul said Christians are “loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction” (1:4-5).

We need to remember all of this so that we do not read the last chapter in isolation and turn it into a legalistic list by which we judge one another. The list is last because if we are living under the Lordship of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, these are the things we want to do because we love Jesus and want to be more like Him by grace. 

I always told our five kids growing up that Christianity is not about what you have to do, but rather what you get to do. You don’t have to read your Bible; God loves you so much He wrote a book for you and wants to meet with you to help you learn it. You get to learn from God when you read the Bible! You don’t have to pray; you have a Father who is perfect and chose to adopt you as His child and He is always wanting to speak to you and hear from you. You get to communicate with Him in prayer! 

Do you see the difference? Healthy Christianity is a lot more about building a relationship than building a resume by keeping rules. 

In conclusion, Paul encourages the original readers and every reader since to look up to Jesus Christ ruling and reigning in glory over everyone and everything. Like finding north on a compass, the key to living the Christian life is always looking up to Jesus Christ, who is alive right now and coming at any time. He is our hope for today and our answer for tomorrow. 

What have been some of your biggest personal takeaways from your story of 1 Thessalonians?

Message and data rates may apply. Reply STOP to opt out or HELP for help. Visit for privacy and terms info.