Belonging to the living God
As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ...for they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God. And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgment. 1 Thessalonians 1:3, 9-10 NLT
Paul reminded the believers that their calling should produce results. This new life in Christ cannot be hidden. “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house” (Matthew 5:14-15). Their “faithful work” is manifested in their turning “away from idols.” Their “loving deeds” will have them “serve the living and true God.” Their “enduring hope” is what will sustain them as they await for the return of the Savior. Faith, love, and hope are spiritual qualities born out of one’s relationship with God. Christians who are true to their relationship with God will be enthusiastic and will live exemplary lives for they have the joy obeying God and His Word. Because they knew they are in Christ, they are confident that when He returns they will be rescued “from the terrors of the coming judgment” (1 Thessalonians 1:10). Since they left their lives worshiping idols, they now can be sure that they have a living hope for they only worship the one true God. “It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation” (1 Peter 1:3). Because Christians have trusted the living God (see 1 Thessalonians 1:9), “‘they will be called ‘children of the living God’” (Romans 9:26), they are “the temple of the living God” (2 Corinthians 6:16), and “the Spirit of the living God” resides in their hearts (2 Corinthians 3:3). Since Christians belong to Christ, they are a part of the “household of God...the church of the living God (1 Timothy 3:15). Every believer should take inventory of their lives and examine if they really belong to the living God and their name is listed in the Lamb’s book of life. “And all the people who belong to this world worshiped...are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was made” (Revelation 13:8).