I remember moving away from home when I completed my education and joining a new church. It wasn’t long before I was asked to be part of an usher team. Although ushering was about serving, God was doing more than I could imagine through this act of service. On the usher team was a man who about the same age as my father at the time. He was a mature Christian who demonstrated the Christian life week in and week out. Over the next few years I don’t think this older man had any idea what an influence he had on my life. Only reflecting on this years later was I able to see the impact on my life by this man’s example.
In our story today, the Apostle Paul writes about the faithful church in Thessalonica and the example they set for others in the faith. 4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. 1 Thes. 1:4-8.
What does this tell us about the members of this Christian community? While they were living out their faith others were watching. Not only were they watching, but they were inspired on the journey of faith by the Thessalonians. The Thessalonians did not ask to be persecuted, but God used their persecution to help others. The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 8:28, “ And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
This church loved the Lord and when persecution came, God used it for His glory. Think of the people who were inspired and even came to faith through their witness.
How about you? Who is in your circle of influence? How can living out the Christian life make a difference to those around you. Acting Christ like is not easy, so we need to ask the Lord to help us. Lord I know I am weak, but I also know your word is true as Paul tells us in Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
To hear more about Paul’s second mission trip, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/series/mission-trip-two-radio-show/the-power-and-hope-of-gods-word