I Thessalonians 1:1-10 “so that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia”.
Introduction: An example- is a pattern or model for imitation. These Thessalonians were an example to “all that believe, inMacedonia and Achaia”. What was it about the Thessalonians that the Macedonians and Achaeans were modeling after, the pattern that they were following?
What was the example the Thessalonians were showing, and why was it worth following back then and even now?
This example is worth following because: I. It Cleans You Up- Vs 3 “work of faith”. The first thing other believers noticed was the Thessalonians work of faith. After being saved, there were some things that were changing in their lives, and it was evident. – What was a work of faith seen here? Vs 9 “how ye turned to God from idols”. The Thessalonians realized after getting saved and following Paul, Silas, and Timothy, how God is the answer for everything and not the Idols. They began to follow the men of God who taught the Word of God which did the work in the Thessalonians from the inside out. – Other believers in Macedonia and Achaea wanted to follow thissame example. It is good to turn to God but, its even better to turn from Idols when the Spirit of God begins to work in the life of a believer. – An idol is an image of a god, made of different materials and in different shapes. However, we today have unseen idols in the heart.
Ezekiel 14:3 “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face”. What is in your life that has become an idol, “your god”, which has taken the place of Jesus Christ? The Idol which has become first in your life? Hobbies, work, friends, entertainment.
Once you think of those idols, “turn TO GOD, from idols”, and God will do the “work of faith” to clean you up. Just like the Thessalonians, God wants to clean you up from the inside out. It starts with the heart. II. It Leads You to Serve Christ- Vs 3 “labor of love”. These Thessalonians in Vs 6, were excited “to serve the living and true God”. They had come out of Idolatry, serving gods that had no power, and now they knew that Jesus Christ was real. Also, that Jesus Christ had paid an ultimate gruesome price for our salvation, and that lead them to a labor of love. – How did this happen? Vs 6 “ye became followers of the Lord”. I John 5:1-3 – a labor of love is doing what God desires, “who will have all men to be saved”. – Then they began to “Vs 8 sound out the word of the Lord” and to “spread abroad their faith”. They were excited to serve the Lord anyway they could. – How is your labor of love? Are you serving the living and true God? Or are we taking the death of Christ for granted, and serving other gods? – The Thessalonians were an example to other believers because they were seen sounding out the word of God and spreading their faith, and I think that every believer here today has a desire to do more for the Lord, to serve him more. After all, time on this earth is short! – We have many opportunities to sound out the word of God either corporately as a church or individually, everywhere we go. If you become more intentional with people, you will have opportunities to share your faith with them and tell them about Jesus. Opportunities to be a good witness and testimony. Paul said, “For the love of Christ costraineth us”, it urged us, compelled us, II Corinthians 5:14. “Woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel”- I Corinthians 9:16 III. It Gives You Hope- Vs 3 “patience of hope”. These Thessalonians in Vs 10 were “waiting for his Son from heaven”. After getting saved they learned that Jesus Christ is coming back for his Church, the believers, and this gave them hope. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable”. I Cor 15:19. – Why did this become an example to follow? At some point or another every Christian loses sight of this truth. The question is how long do you lose sight for? This world has a way to make us lose sight of the return of Christ. Let’s get focused back on His return and see how the perspective of this world changes, suddenly were hopeful and joyful. – Titus 2:13 “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ”. – I Peter 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ form the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you”
Conclusion: After looking at these things it’s clear why other believers wanted to follow the examples of the Thessalonians.
I. No Christian likes to live dirty, in idolatry, it’s better to get rid of those idols of the heart by turning to God and allowing Him to clean you from the inside out.
II. Every Christian want to do more for the Lord, out a labor of Love towards Him. After all, Jesus paid the ultimate price for us, why not show our faith, and tell others about Him.
III. Lastly, we all need hope, Jesus is coming back soon, don’t lose sight of this, or get distracted with the things of the World, and your hope will be renewed day by day.