We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. 2 Thessalonians 1:3 (NIV).
When was the last time you had a celebrity thank you, or give thanks for you being the way you are?
Over the weekend, my daughter worked at a celebrity event. She lives in California and worked an event where there were a great many celebrities present. She said it was surreal, and she got to meet most of the celebrities attending; she’s a bartender so I’d expect that. Anyway, according to her, the famous people she met were mostly nice but quite common. I can’t recall her ever saying that any of them said “I thank God for you because I can see your faith is growing and you love so many people.”
Time to name drop. I’ve personally met Billy Graham, Louie Anderson, Barack Obama, Jeff Goldblum, James Taylor, Ross Perot, Keith Ellison, Chuck Horner, Alex Trebek, and all of Blink 182. Up close and personal I’ve seen Bob Hope, Chuck Yeager, Betty White, and I’ve seen every president (except President Trump) going all the way back to Jerry Ford plus more than a few famous performers on stage Celebrities are just people who are famous. Their blood is red; their hair gets messy; they have body odor. As it was with my daughter, I can’t recall any of them saying “I thank God for you.”
But Paul did. He had gotten to know the members of the church in Thessalonica, and he had become famous throughout the known world of the Mediterranean. When Paul wrote his epistle to his friends in Thessalonica, he said that he (and Silas and Timothy) always thanked God for them.
Imagine a celebrity saying that about you. We all get star-struck, and more than a few people in Thessalonica may have been star-struck about Paul. Yet he said it about them, about their lives, about their faith in God. Two thousand years later, we’re still reading about it. Except for Mr. Obama, two thousand years from now it is very unlikely people will read about, or know about, any of the celebrities I mentioned above. In as little as one hundred years, most people won’t even know about you or I.
Yet Jesus will because He always does. Paul the celebrity thanked God because Jesus the Son of God lived and died for him, and for the Thessalonians, and for you and me. Jesus, the creator of the universe, knew you and me before we were even born. He knows us now. He knows us intimately. One hundred years ago and a hundred years from now, Jesus knew and loved each of us. When Jesus name-drops, He drops YOUR name, and Jesus is the ultimate celebrity.
For further reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:4.
Lord Jesus, thank You.