Thursday, November 08, 2007

I Thessalonians 1:6-10


6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering 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. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9 for they themselves report what happened when we visited you. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead-Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.

NOTE, you became imitators of US and the Lord. What was it that they imitated? What did they see in Paul, Silas and Timothy that they embraced as a lifestyle for themselves? I can think of a few things:

1. They imitated what they heard them say and began to talk like them. So, the Thessalonians began talking like the trio and thinking like the trio. These were the things regarding Jesus being the Messiah and the kingdom of God principles. It was all about the simplicity and purity of devotion to Jesus--JESUS PLUS NOTHING.

2. They imitated what they saw them do together. So, the Thessalonians saw the trio loving one another and being sensitive to others.

3. They imitated the little team effect of the three of them--the attractiveness and the dynamic of the fellowship. So, they began hanging out in small groupings and began to envision themselves as a team like the trio who brought the Good News (Jesus) to them.

4. They imitated the love they felt. So, the Thessalonians felt so loved and cared for that they began spreading this same sort of dynamic toward others.

In essence, the Thessalonians became imitators of Jesus--talking, thinking, walking and loving like Jesus.

NOTE the results of imitating the trio of Paul, Silas and Timothy and the Lord.

First--The Thessalonians became model disciples to all those who lived in Macedonia and Achaia.

Second--The message of the Lord rang out...echoed forth all over their world.

Third--The Thessalonian story experienced a viral marketing explosion. The story was how the trio had shown up in Thessalonica and those who believed their message of Jesus turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for His Son from heaven.

Now here's the most amazing thing. Paul, Silas and Timothy were only in the town of Thessalonica a little over three weeks and yet they were able to "imprint" these believers and started them on the road to discipleship. This is truly the blueprint for world-wide revolution! WHERE TWO OR THREE ARE GATHERED TOGETHER IN JESUS' NAME, HE WILL SHOW UP IN A MIGHTY WAY. Now I have a question for you. "If you knew where Jesus was going to show up, wouldn't you go there?"