This Weeks Word

1 Thessalonians 2:1…
When you think of the public witness of what had transpired in the newly-founded church at Thessalonica, it is amazing. 
Paul was amazed by it, and he referenced it at the end of chapter 1 of his first letter to this church. Speaking of those outside who had witnessed God’s work in this church, Paul wrote, “they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you.” 
In Acts 17 it was declared they were those who, “turned the world upside down.” 
That’s quite a testimony coming from those outside the church. (Then as now.)
It was the work of God in this church witnessed by those outside this church which spoke of the power of God working in and through the apostle Paul and Silas, and likewise in this church.
And now Paul speaks of the testimony from within this church. “You yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain.” 
Again – it was their response within themselves to the teaching of the apostle Paul which bore witness to the power of God working in and through the apostle Paul.
This is reminiscent of the ‘fourfold witness’ Jesus had proclaimed of His own ministry in John 5. His ministry was verified by the witness of John the Baptist, the works Jesus performed, the Father Himself from heaven, and by scriptures, (speaking of how His ministry had been exactly declared in prophecy.)
Paul, in acknowledging the power of the gospel, is also acknowledging the source of his ministry. He is saying: the power that is alive and working in you now testifies to the power that is alive and working in me. The power of God in itself, witnessed by all, becomes the foundation of the church. Nothing else will do, and nothing else can do what God alone can accomplish and will accomplish.
And just as Jesus Himself, Paul was not acknowledging this power to establish his own glory but rather the glory of God alone. God alone is the source of the power of the gospel, and also the work of the gospel – which bears witness to the power of the gospel.
When Paul and Silas arrived at Thessalonica, they must have been a sore sight for the eyes. Having been so recently and so thoroughly beaten at Philippi, they must have wandered into the synagogue looking like a pair of vagrants. Can you imagine a couple people from the streets, filthy and bloodied wandering into any church and beginning to proclaim the Word of God with power?
What God alone overcomes becomes His witness. In every life. In any life. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not some frilly high-sounding presentation meant for soaring cathedrals, it is a word of power for the lowliest, even down to those living on the streets in tents. (As God Himself did for several hundred years.) 
Pastor Bill