Being a Godly Example

Video Talk

Paul, along with Silvanus (Silas) and Timothy, wrote this letter to the believers in Jesus Christ in Thessalonica. And as we read this first chapter together, I would like for us to imagine the letter is being written to us, and for us to consider how much of this might be applied to our lives today.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-10 ESV

“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. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”

Now, all this is not going to apply to us specifically, but I see maybe four or five main points here which describe the kind of character we should have as followers of Jesus Christ. So, as we read this we should ask the Lord to show us what applies to our lives and where we need to change.

Labor of Love

We, as followers of Jesus Christ, should be those of strong faith in our Lord, who have died with him to sin and who are living to him and to his righteousness, in daily practice. And we should be doing the works of God which he prepared in advance that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). We should be laboring for the Lord, doing the work he has called us to do, and doing so in steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus. For we should see that we now belong to Christ and that he is the one directing our lives.

Chosen by God

I love what this says here, how the apostles recognized that these Christians were chosen by God, because they didn’t just accept the gospel in word only, but they were those who were putting the faith of the gospel into practice in their daily lives. They were living what they said they believed, and they were not just mouthing words of faith in the Lord. But this was not a casual thing for them, but they were passionately operating in the power of God and in the Holy Spirit, and with full conviction of truth.

Imitators of Christ

Now, this kind of imitating is not the mocking kind or the kind that is just pretending to be someone else. This means we are literally modeling our lives after Jesus Christ and his life which he lived when he was on the earth. It means we are becoming like him in character via the Lord conforming us to his likeness, as we cooperate fully with God’s work of grace in our lives. And if there are truly godly people in your life, you can follow their example, but be careful, for not many people are surrendered to Jesus Christ.

Sharing the Gospel

These believers in Jesus Christ received the word of God in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Now, if you are serious about your walk with the Lord Jesus, and if you are living holy lives, dedicated to the Lord and to his service, and if you are sharing the truth of the gospel, and if you are exposing the lies, you are going to be afflicted, for you are going to be hated, rejected, and persecuted. But we are to accept that as part of what it means to follow Jesus, and to do so with joy.

And because of their walks of faith, and their willingness to suffer for the sake of the gospel, these people became an example to other believers in Jesus Christ, so they literally modeled what the Christian life should look like. For, not only were they sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, but they were living the gospel. Their lives were surrendered to Christ, they were dying daily to sin and to self, and they were following the Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands (New Covenant).

Turn from Idols to Serve God

And here they modeled the message of the gospel of Christ by how they lived their lives. For they turned away from sin and from idols to serve the living and true God, to do what he commands, and to follow our Lord Jesus wherever he led them, and to say whatever he told them to say. They were not those who were giving lip service only to the Lord, but they were walking the talk. They were living and they were modeling for others what they professed with their lips. All glory and praise to our Lord Jesus Christ!
Caution: This link may contain ads

Full Release

An Original Work / April 15, 2012

Walking daily with my Savior
brings me joy.
Loving Father; precious Jesus;
He’s my Savior and my Lord.
Gently leads me; follow Him.
I’ve invited Him within.
Now abiding in His presence,
oh, what peace.
From my self-life
He has brought me,
By His mercy, full release.

Hope and comfort,
peace and safety Jesus brings
When I daily bow before Him;
Obey freely; do His will.
Follow Him where’er He leads.
Listen to Him; His words heed.
Now obeying his words fully,
oh, what love
That He gives me
through salvation,
By His Spirit, from above.

Loving Father; precious Jesus,
He’s my friend.
With my Savior, by His Spirit,
I will endure to the end.
Share the gospel, tell what’s true.
Witness daily; His will do.
Tell the world of how their Savior
bled and died.
On a cruel cross He suffered
So that we might be alive.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s