Are You Still the Same? – I Thessalonians 1:9

by Pastor John Fredericksen

Print This Article

William Ashley “Billy” Sunday was an outfielder for the Chicago White Stockings in 1887. After a night of drinking with teammates, he attended a Bible service at the Pacific Garden Mission. It was there that his life was changed when he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior. He left his professional baseball career to preach “fire and brimstone” evangelistic messages over much of America. These meetings were usually held in tents with sawdust in the aisles. Many “walked the saw dust trail” to trust in Christ. This writer heard the gospel for the first time in a church that formed after one of those evangelistic campaigns. Billy Sunday’s life had an obvious, marked change when he got saved, and it should be the same for us too.

When many in Thessalonica heard and trusted in Paul’s Gospel of Grace, there was a radical change in their lives that produced godliness. In I Thessalonians 1:9-10, the Apostle Paul praises them saying: “…ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; and to wait for His Son from heaven…” They were never the same again. Other than forgiveness unto salvation, what kind of changes took place in their lives? There were at least four major changes. Paul told them: “…ye were ensamples [or examples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia” (I Thessalonians 1:7). Paul pointed to them as examples of transformed lives that all believers should emulate. He praised them, saying: “from you sounded out the Word of the Lord…in every place…”

(1:8). They chose to be consistent and aggressive in their evangelism. In this and other ways, they were willing to “…serve the living God…” (1:9). They did not just sit on their salvation doing nothing. They intentionally served their Savior. Paul said they expectantly continued to “wait for His Son from heaven” (1:10). Perhaps it was this latter anticipation of our Lord’s return that produced such dynamic, godly changes in their lives.

As we read about testimonies of dynamic change in the saints from biblical times, or in accounts in our present day, it should cause us to examine if there has been a dynamic change in our life. Surely when you stand before Christ in eternity you’ll want Him to read a record of godly change in your life. Let today be the start of incorporating all four of these life-changing principles into your life. Choose to live a transformed life.

Free Mail Subscription

Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."