As a writer, I love words. I believe words are powerful. They move us, and with them we move others, too.
When we think of sharing our faith with others we often think of this in terms of words. What verses should I use? What should I say? What will others say if I do step out and talk to them about Jesus?
I’ve been studying in 1 Thessalonians for a few weeks now and there is a verse I find myself meditating on. As is the case so often with Scripture, some things are readily understood, but God always beckons us to come up higher. To see it the way He sees it. And sure, there are times when the Lord is gracious and immediately gives us understanding, but there is also a glorious unfolding that occurs as we walk day by day with Jesus. So I have been walking, day by day, considering what the Holy Spirit might be teaching me.
“For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.” – 1 Thessalonians 1:5 (NASB)
The words do matter. Paul isn’t diminishing words here. But he’s expanding our vision, as though handing us some special glasses that allow us to see the screen not only in two dimensions, but three. And this added dimension is meant to give depth, fullness.
What is this power Paul is referring to? We can read through his other epistles and also the book of Acts to catch a glimpse of it. As we do, it’s important to remember something about this power—it accompanied the gospel. Paul’s mission was to go and make disciples, to share the good news of Jesus Christ (proclaim His name) and aid in the formation of mature believers who would ultimately do the same. That’s where the power is. Acts 1:8 says, “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Power to BE His witnesses. To take some action. By faith to trust in the promise of Jesus, that His presence and power are with us…to GO.
Bringing the gospel not in word only, but also in power, in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance.
I invite you to meditate on this with me. To search it out, to inquire of the Lord. Not only to have understanding of what it means, this power, but to live it out in your day to day walk with Jesus. In the grocery store, on the job, at home. To share the gospel not only in word, but in His power.
What might this look like for you? Who have you been been praying for to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth? How does 1 Thessalonians 1:5 change your perception of sharing the gospel? How does it change your prayer for them?