Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Changed Life Influences Others

My body is weak. This morning, I had to take a nap after walking down the stairs. That simple task drained the energy out of my body. My wife cancelled all of our plans for the day - a visit to the dentist, a physical therapy session, and an afternoon at a friend's pool. All of these will have to wait for another day.

It is another beautiful summer day. Warm, but just enough of breeze to enjoy having the windows open instead of turning on the AC unit. I love these days. Birds are playing in the lilac bush.

We enjoyed the firstfruits from our garden this week - yellow squash and zucchini squash. The tomatoes are coming, but not ripe yet. We have also been enjoying sweetcorn from a local farmer's market. Another blessing of Pennsylvania summers.

In 1 Thessalonians, I read verese 7-10 of the first chapter this morning. Paul writes about how the witness of the Thessalonian believers had a widespread influence in the region. God can use our testimony to make a difference in the lives of others! The way we handle things in our life - especially our difficulties - can be a source of strength and hope for others. As we point to our source of strength and hope - the Lord Jesus Christ.

In verse 7, Paul tells them that they have become examples of those who believe. Role models. The Greek word he uses here suggests that these believers have left their marks on others. I must ask myself - is my testimony for Jesus Christ leaving a mark on others? A positive mark?

In verse 8, he says that the Word of God has sounded forth. These believers have been faithful in spreading the gospel. Am I as faithful?

In verse 9, Paul writes that these believershave turned from idols to Christ. From sin to Christ. This is true repentance. Evidence of a changed life. Am I living in such a way that others can see a difference in me?

In verse 9, he also writes that these believers have become servants of the true and living God. Do I seek each day to serve God? Or do I seek to serve myself?

In verse 10, Paul describes the eternal perspective of the Thessalonian believers - they are waiting for the return of Jesus Christ. This perspective gives them hope. And it motivates them to live for Him in the present. Do I have this same perspective? Do I have a sense of urgency in my witness and in my service to God?

A changed life influences others. What kind of influence am I having?

1 comment:

Fietta Family Blessings said...

I don’t know what to say about the points you raised. I have undergone family blessings
a lot of times now, so I guess I couldn’t put in a negative word or two. I do like how you got your views across. Good luck to you.