1 Thessalonians 1
Sunday, August 28, 2022
At FUEL this year, the theme was Battleground. Throughout the week, we discussed the idols that we each have in our lives, whether they are of entertainment, power, pleasure, or something else. At the end of the week, we discussed how to dethrone these idols and place God as the ruler of our hearts.
While reading 1 Thessalonians 1, we see that the people from Thessaloniki also had a problem with idols in their lives. The Thessalonians had worshiped the Greek gods, at a previous point in their lives. While their idols may not have been the same as the ones we face today, they still caused the separation from God that we experience when we give other things our hearts, instead of giving them to God.
Thankfully, however, the Thessalonians had turned away from their idols to worship God. They realized that they were giving others the place that God deserves in their hearts. They came to serve the living and true God, instead of the idols that they had previously worshiped. We, too, must turn away from the idols we have in our lives and place God on the throne in our hearts.
The best part of this story, in my opinion, is what happened after the Thessalonians turned to serve the true God: their faith sounded forth in every place. Everyone from Macedonia and Achaia had heard about the believers from Thessaloniki. They had started to live their lives so similar to the way that Jesus had lived his life that they had become examples to all believers. The Thessalonians’ faith had gone forth so much that Paul says that he has no need to say anything to those who had heard of their faith.
When you have cast away your idols and placed God on the throne of your heart, you will want to serve God in whatever way you can. This does not mean that your faith may end up being heard about from the ends of the earth, like the Thessalonians, but it does mean that you will stand out from those in this world. When God is the king of your heart, you will live a life that is different from those around you. People all around the world may not hear of your faith, but those around you will notice it and will ask you questions. The question is: Are you willing to cast away all of your idols and place God on the throne of your heart?
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- You might not have a problem worshiping Greek gods, but do you have any modern idols that you have given control of your heart (your love, your affection, your time, your finances, the place that only God deserves)?
- What will it look like to give the throne of your heart completely to God? Are you committed to this change? What steps will you take today?
- Who do you know that you admire for the way they follow Jesus? How can you be a good example to others in the way that you give God first place and follow Jesus?