We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.1 Thessalonians 1:2-7
I think I’ve told this before, but it is probably the best example I can come up with for today’s topic.
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. As a college student, I remember a pastor of an area church and his entourage. The pastor had a distinctive look and each of the three young men who worked with him sporting the same hairstyle – slicked back with lots of gel- and similar polyester suits. They even seemed to walk like this pastor.
Have you ever followed another person that closely?
In the opening verses of 1 Thessalonians, Paul encourages the these young believers who imitated Paul and, more importantly, the Lord. He gave the same command to the Corinthians, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).
As the Thessalonians followed Paul’s example who was following the LORD, they actually became positive examples themselves in Macedonia and Achaia and “everywhere”.
Here are some questions to consider as we start a new week:
- Would people everywhere be able to say that I am serving the “living and true God”
- Where and how can I follow Christ more closely?
Maybe it is in my attitude or in my speech or in the things I do.