Scripture Reading: I Thessalonians 1:6-10
“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.” (I Thessalonians 1:9,10)
As we have seen, the believers in Thessalonica were bold in proclaiming their faith. Their story of conversion spread throughout Macedonia and Achaia (v. 7). The description Paul gives in these verses is a picture of a true conversion experience.
First, conversion involves a turning away from sin, self, and the idols we have created in our hearts. This is known as repentance — being genuinely sorry for our sins and turning away from them. We have to come to grips with our sinful condition, repent, confess our sins and turn to Jesus for forgiveness.
Second, conversion involves a turning to. It is a turning to the living and true God, with a desire to honor and serve Him. It is a turning to holiness (from sin) and a turning to Christ (from self). We turn to Christ and receive Him as our Savior and Lord. This turning represents a real inner change. It involves repentance (turning away) and faith (turning to).
Third, true conversion results in action — serving the living and true God. Believers are to follow the example of their Savior — “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). The Christian life is a life of service. We were created by God to do good works — “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
Fourth, conversion involves faithful waiting for the appearance of our Savior. We are to look forward in great anticipation for the second coming of Jesus. When Christ returns, we will be glorified with Him and our salvation will be complete. Waiting for Christ’s return implies being ready for it — “Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these , be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish and at peace” (II Peter 3:14).
Lord Jesus, thank You for accomplishing salvation for me. Thank You for granting me repentance and faith, both are gifts from You. Thank You for the privilege of serving You. And I long for the day when You return to this earth and restore all things. Thank You for delivering me from the wrath that will come on the day of judgment. I look forward in faith to being glorified with God in the new heaven and earth.
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