“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers…”
Verse two commences the body of the epistle.
We give thanks to God
We can tell a man’s values by what he appreciates. Paul and his team constantly expressed their gratitude for God’s operation throughout their lives.
Most books of the New Testament begin with some form of thanksgiving, but Paul could not bring himself to thank God for the Galatians because of their serious doctrinal aberration. He even gave thanks for the church at Corinth, and that took some doing!
What we appreciate reveals our values.
Some churches are discussion groups. They care little about truth; they care more about everyone giving their viewpoints about truth. Other churches are mere country clubs where socialization takes precedence over edifying one another or sharing the gospel with the world. Still, other groups debate political or public issues and give a squirt of religious perfume to their crowd.
The church at Thessalonica was a true church. You could hear the Word of God there. You saw them strengthen each other in their faith. You watched them share Christ not only with their own city but also with the whole Mediterranean world. They did not spend much time discussing the dreadful state of affairs in the Roman Empire, and there were many cases of abuse in the Empire. They talked about strategy for winning the Roman Empire for Christ. They dealt with important things like sin and salvation, Heaven, and Hell. Who wants to be the best fed and most refined person in the Lake of Fire?
Do you put a priority on God’s scale of values?