“For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything.” (1 Thessalonians 1:8 NKJV)
This verse allows for a lot of imagination, and all of it is good. I can imagine Paul talking to someone about Christ and mentioning the effect the gospel has had on people in different areas, only to be interrupted as his conversational partner says something like, “Oh, you mean like the Thessalonians? Those people have changed. And they sure talk about Jesus a lot. If you’re talking about the same guy, what do I need to do to be like them?” Changed lives and a changed message makes sharing the gospel a lot easier. The Thessalonians had accepted the word of grace, had come to faith in God and their changed lives and their message of transformation through Christ made it easy for Paul to share the gospel.
I wonder what would happen if someone was trying to share the gospel with a friend of mine. Would my friend say, “Oh, that sounds like what Bob was telling me. What do I need to do?” or would he say, “Oh, that sounds like what Bob was telling me. Forget this. It hasn’t made a difference in his life.” Our lives, our words, our attitudes even, make a difference. I pray that when people talk about me, they’ll think about my relationship with Christ and want to know more.
Lord, let my words and my life reflect Your love and grace to everyone I come in contact with. When people talk about me, may they remember my love and commitment to You most of all – and may it leave them wanting to know more about You.