Good morning! Have you ever wanted to imitate somebody? Maybe you wanted to imitate their style, the manner they carried themselves or their faith. Today, as we continue our reading in 1 Thessalonians we will read how the believers imitated Christ.
Bible verse: 1 Thessalonians 1:4-7 NLT
“4 We know, dear brothers and sisters,[b] that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people. 5 For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance[c] that what we said was true. And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you. 6 So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord. 7 As a result, you have become an example to all the believers in Greece—throughout both Macedonia and Achaia.[d]“
Apostle Paul spoke very highly of the church at Thessalonica. He reminded them of the time that he was with them (Acts 17), and how they received the message of the Good News that changed their lives. Not only did they believe and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they became imitators of faithful Christians but ultimately an imitator of Christ.
If you recall in Acts 17, Jason’s house was attacked and because an angry mob could not find Paul there, the mob dragged Jason from his home along with other believers. Jason and the others were later released and their faith in the Lord remained unwavering. After a while, the Thessalonian believers faith and character had become an example to many – they were imitators of Christ.
Apostle Paul ministered to the Thessalonians directly after leaving the Philippian believers. The Lord was leading him on his second missionary journey, and even though the enemy was attacking him at every stop – the Lord was with him, the message was preached and lives were changed for generations.
Sisters and brothers, as the Apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, I write the same to you today, God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people. As followers and imitators of Christ things in life will not always go as we planned, but the Lord has great things in store for you. Whether those plans are to plant seeds, to pray, to mentor, or to encourage ithers in the faith – the Lord has chosen you. Continue to walk out your faith, love as Christ loves and remain secure in the hope that we have in Christ Jesus.
A few questions to ponder:
Who are you imitating?
The Lord chose you, will you allow the Lord to use you?
Father God we thank you for your gracious love and mercy. Lord, we thank you for delivering us from the hands of our enemies and for holding us up in You. Lord, you are the One who chose us and we thank you for grabbing us from the pit of hell and reconciling us back to you. Lord, it would be foolish of us to think that we have changed on our own, we know it is the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us who is transforming us to be more like Christ each day. Lord, we are thankful and humbly submit our weaknesses and imperfections to you. You are the One who sees us – broken, fragile, angry, prideful, stubborn, and yearning for change, but You are the One who makes us strong in faith, the One who releases and breaks down those fleshly tendency – Lord, because of you we have the strength to press on and persevere, we bow in full surrender to let you have your way. Lord, continue your mighty work in us, prune us, and make us new in You. In Jesus name, amen.
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