Are you truly being the salt and light that Jesus has called you to be?
Previously, Paul was abused and humiliated in Philippi. Why was he willing to suffer? He revealed in 1 Thessalonians 2:4 (NIV) that he was “not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.” Who are you trying to please? What are you willing to sacrifice for the spreading of the Gospel?
2. Paul’s Example
Paul’s example to the Thessalonians can be summed up in two words: love and holiness. He is willing to share not only the gospel but also his life with the Thessalonians. Sharing your life with others can be much more difficult than sharing just the gospel. However, it is equally important to share your struggles with others, to open up and encourage one another because through this our faith could be strengthened.
What impact are you having on those around you? Do people praise God’s name or curse it because of what they see you do?
3. Thessalonians’ Response
The Thessalonians responded by becoming examples. When violence broke out against Paul, Jason, a Thessalonian Christian, suffered greatly for harboring them. The essence of Christian leadership is not about power or influence, but healthy relationships and humble, loving service. We are charged to build each other up.
Do we treat each other as eternal family? Will you be willing to sacrifice your wealth and even your life for your brothers and sisters in Christ? Are we a model church that people look to for encouragement? If not, how can we change it?
The Thessalonians responded by becoming imitators of Jesus under severe persecution. Amid suffering, they have joy. How can it be? It is in Jesus and through His church that we find a deep joy and sense of identity, as we fix our eyes on him. Jesus said on the meaning of discipleship that “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me (Matthew 16:24 BSB).” Self-denial is counterintuitive, and the way of the cross is painful. But remember, it is Jesus’ way or no way.
Jesus has the ultimate victory, and through Him, we have a kingdom of true peace and safety being prepared for us. This future hope should motivate our present faithfulness to Jesus. Paul’s life is not unique. You are called to be Paul—to go out into the world and make disciples. Have you?
A gift 主礼
End unity prayer 结束合一祷告
Eucharist Deacon 圣餐执事
I found you in the dark 黑暗中寻见你
Jesus' blood 耶稣的宝血
Let's celebrate 一起来赞美
Poetry class singing 诗班献唱
Praise the Lord with an instrument 用乐器赞美主
Precious Mandarin 宝贵的华语
The Holy Spirit leads 圣灵带领
The body of Jesus 耶稣的身体