The Viral Gospel
February 21, 2017
Read: 1 Thessalonians 1:1–10
Bible in a Year: Numbers 1–3; Mark 3
The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere.—1 Thessalonians 1:8
The Viral Texts project at Northeastern University in Boston is studying how printed content in the 1800s spread through newspapers—the social media network of that day. If an article was reprinted 50 times or more, they considered that “viral” for the Industrial Age. Writing in Smithsonian magazine, Britt Peterson noted that a nineteenth-century news article describing which followers of Jesus were executed for their faith appeared in at least 110 different publications.
When the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Thessalonica, he commended them for their bold and joyful witness to Jesus. “The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere” (1 Thess. 1:8). The message of the gospel went viral through these people whose lives had been transformed by Jesus Christ. In spite of difficulties and persecution, they could not remain silent.
We convey the story of forgiveness and eternal life in Christ through kind hearts, helping hands, and honest words from all of us who know the Lord. The gospel transforms us and the lives of those we meet.
May the message ring out from us for all to hear today! —David McCasland
Lord Jesus, help us to live boldly and tell others about You today.
Share with others at Facebook.com/ourdailybread how you have been able to live boldly for the Lord.
There’s no better news than the gospel—spread the word!
INSIGHT: The story of the Thessalonians’ changed lives—according to Paul—went “viral.” Paul recalls the story of how Jewish and Gentile people turned from ancestral beliefs to personal faith in Christ. Such conversions were bound to be controversial. Decisions to leave the faith of our fathers (and mothers) seldom sound like good news to families, friends, and co-workers. But these Thessalonians gave their world something to talk about. Their lives gave substance to the faith, hope, and love of Jesus. It is easier to tell someone about our own experience rather than jumping into a controversial “answer” for them. Why not share your story? Mart DeHaan
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