For what are you known? The new believers in Thessalonica were known for their imitation of the Lord and for those who taught them what it meant to be a follower of Jesus. As I read this passage this morning I couldn’t help but wonder, for what am I known? I profess to be a believer and a follower, but do my day-to-day activities reflect such. Sadly not always.
The believers in Thessalonica imitated and reflected Christ; they role modeled for others their faith through thick and thin. The passage says, “in spite of severe suffering”. Could I just tell you I don’t suffer well. I get a twinge in my spine or my body simply pains me and I’m ready to throw in the towel. Or, let someone attack me for my faith and belief and I am ready to keep my mouth shut. But not so with these believers. Under great hardship, suffering and overwhelming fear for their lives they continued to model and live out their faith. As a result they become known for such faith – well beyond their home borders.
For me and most of my readers we live in an environment where we do not need fear for our lives every time we mention the name Jesus. But many of us live as if we will suffer great dire, life threatening consequences. I’m speaking of me here too! I keep silent all too often for fear of offending. Or, the fear a family member, friend or even a mere acquaintance will decide they would rather have no more conversation with me. How it hurts my heart to know I hurt the one who was born that I might have the life I have. Jesus was born all those many years ago so I, you, all mankind, could live a blessed life of abundance here on earth and in eternity. Abundance does not mean wealth in a monetary sense; although many are so blessed. But abundance in the richness found in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Do you work outside the home? How many of your co-workers know you are a Christian? What about your neighbors? Do they know you as a child of the King – better yet; do they even know you exist? What about your children’s friends, their parents, clubs in which you participate? What about the sports you play? Do your team members know you as a Christian or just one of the gang? The list could go on, however, I will stop here.
Do those you come in contact with know you are a believer? Do they see Christ reflected in you? Or, are you hiding your faith in fear? For what are you known? For what do you desire to be known?
Christmas is a perfect time to open the door to sharing your faith. Maybe it’s time to take a batch of cookies to the neighbors or to ______________. Who is God calling you to share Him with this season?
Until next time,
For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 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. 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. And so you became a model of all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia – your faith in God has become known everywhere.” 1 Thessalonians 1:4-8