Paul was distressed as he thought about the church at Thessalonica. Finally, when he could no longer stand it, he had to hear how the church was doing and sent Timothy to check on them. When Timothy returned he reported to Paul on their faith and love in the midst of persecution and Paul, in relief, declared, “Now we live!”
Want to live? Paul isn’t speaking of salvation here, but he is speaking of real life. There are many alluring substitutes in this world for genuine life. We so easily lose our bearings. Our hearts are prone to wander. In the midst of the clutter of worldly attractions (e.g. greed, lust, pride, fame, recognition, etc.) Paul gives us an anchor in his letter to the Thessalonians: Want to have real life? Want to have fulfillment that lasts for more than a fleeting moment, even eternally? Invest in other people and help them to grow firm in the faith! This is where the fulfillment is.
How do we do this? Paul influenced the people of Thessalonica through the character of his life, “You are witnesses, and so is God, of how devoutly, righteously, and blamelessly we conducted ourselves with you believers (1 Thess. 2:10). How’s your conduct and interaction with people?
Paul invested in them by his word, “As you know, like a father with his own children, we encouraged, comforted, and implored each one of you to walk worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory” (1 Thess 2:11,12). How were your words today? Were there believers that you encouraged and comforted to walk worthy of God? This is the route to true life. Don’t be drawn into worldly substitutes.