In Power and in the Holy Spirit

Joseph Holbrook, Jr.

READ : 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10

Paul gives all the credit to the Holy Spirit for his ministry in Thessalonica. Paul says, “Our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction” (v. 5, rsv). There is a false modesty prevalent in the church today that would take issue with Paul’s confident rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit. My wife and I are as confident as Paul of the Spirit’s power. We have been praying for the Spirit to work in the lives of our children and grandchildren as he did in Thessalonica.

Paul goes on to point to himself and Silas as products of the Spirit’s work. He takes note that the Thessalonians became imitators of them and of the Lord, “with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit” (v. 7, rsv). A true leader does more than just speak words. His life is a living embodiment of his words. When the Holy Spirit makes Jesus Christ come alive in us there is a new power and a joy in our lives that others see. Our hope is that in our own neighborhoods, as in Thessalonica, others will “turn to God from idols, to wait for his Son from heaven-Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” (v. 9b-10, rsv).


Fill my life with power and the Holy Spirit, Lord, that I may see people come to Jesus through my ministry. In his name. Amen.