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. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you 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, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. 1 Thessalonians 1:4–10 (ESV)
Rick Phillips writes:
It would be a fine thing to have a reputation among the churches like that of the Thessalonians. It would be an especially high honor to receive the kind of praise that this church received from no less than the apostle Paul. Yet we await the coming of One who is infinitely higher than the choicest of his human servants, who will call us to give an account of our service to him.
Jesus foretold such a future interview in his parable of the talents. The Lord had given each of his servants a certain number of gifts and opportunities, and he wanted to see how faithfully and fruitfully his followers had served him. Jesus concluded that a professing believer who had done nothing for him while supposedly awaiting his return could only be a false believer who did not truly belong. But to those who had vigorously employed the gospel resources that Christ had given them – some greater and some lesser, but all important – and sincerely offered themselves to serve Christ’s glory and kingdom, Jesus gave the word of praise that every Christian is seeking to hear when he returns. “Well done, good and faithful servant,” Jesus will say to everyone who spread the gospel, served God, and waited for his return. “Enter into the joy of your master.”
MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 88
Q. 88. What are the outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption?
A. The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption, are his ordinances, especially the word, sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for salvation.