The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell 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 rescues us from the coming wrath. 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10.
Actions really do speak louder than words, don’t they! Dovetailing off our theme (from yesterday) that people are always watching, here’s the follow through. When people are watching and we both walk the walk and talk the talk, God’s work is done and the news spreads.
It’s like the dye in the water thing. You know what I’m talking about. You get a glass of water and drop in a single drop of food dye. Without even touching the glass, soon the dye distributes throughout the glass. It happens even quicker if you stir the water.
It’s like good news spreading like wildfire (which it is). Yes, the details tend to differ from person to person – have you read the four Gospels? – but the message is maintained. No, the “telephone game” isn’t always how things work, especially when there are people like me who play that game and deliberately change the message whispered to us. In reality, the core message is usually preserved as the core message quickly spreads.
Even in bad times, bad news never endures. Sure, it’s preserved and we remember the bad times; we must guard against evil. But bad never prevails; it never outweighs the good times. The good news of Christ’s salvation was known in full at the time of 1 Thessalonians just as it is now. That’s the best news humanity has ever heard: that faith in Jesus means we live forgiven forever. That news took root even in the first century and grew quickly far beyond the confines of ancient Palestine. The oppressive Romans eventually fell away. The oppression of Islam hadn’t happened yet and still hasn’t prevailed. The terror of war, the hardships of poverty, the hatred of racism are all powerless against the good news of Christ. They didn’t win out with the Thessalonians and they aren’t winning out with us. Indeed, the end of human history has already been foretold; it’s central to the Gospel. God vanquishes evil once and for all and restores what evil tried to destroy.
Those actions will speak much louder than anything evil says because people are always watching and listening. They’re why the Gospel always spreads quickly and why it can always take root in the fertile soil of needful human hearts.
For further reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:1, Romans 1:8, Acts 14:15, 1 Corinthians 12:2, Galatians 4:8, Matthew 16:16, 1 Thessalonians 2:1.
My Lord, I need Your good news today! Bless others as You bless me through living out Your Word.