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May 26 | 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10


 

DAILY READING



 

REFLECTION


Modeling Jesus

by Elaine Pierce


How did the church in the city of Thessalonica become 'a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.' (v. 7)? They didn't have social media, did they, so they couldn't spread the word on Facebook, Instagram or Tik Tok. Let's take a look at what made their faith a model for others. The apostle Paul, who wrote this book, only preached at their new church for 3 weeks before he was run off by mobs and accused of sedition. And yet when Timothy visited them later, he found them standing fast in the faith (despite some misunderstandings you can read about later in chapters 4 and 5).


These new believers 'became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, they welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. (v. 6)' Yes, they had Paul and his team as role models worthy of imitating ,and they were filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit. And yes, suffering, it seems, was involved - severe suffering, as a matter of fact. They were persecuted for their newfound faith, but they stood firm and were filled with joy. I am humbled when I read accounts like this of saints who have experienced great suffering for following Jesus. As Christians in a free country, we don't often experience this kind of suffering. But we need to be ready, as Peter says in 1 Peter 3:15 "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."


Paul commends the Thessalonians for their work produced by faith, their labor prompted by love, and their endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (v. 2). May that be said about our church, our body of believers, our faith community. Let's look each day for opportunities to share Christ's love with gentleness and respect to all who cross our paths. May it be so!


PRAYER

Lord, I know my faith is weak, and I so often avoid suffering. Help me to trust you in every situation, and to serve others with gentleness and respect. Thank you for your word, and for stories of those saints who have gone before me. Help me each day to imitate you in spirit and in truth, Amen.




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Judy Webb
Judy Webb
May 26

That's the key, isn't it? Become imitators of Jesus. Do the things He did, love the way He did and does. We must become models to all believers by the help of the Holy Spirit. Thanks Elaine, for another thought provoking devotion to start my day. --Judy

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