Wednesday, July 23, 2008


This morning at 5:00 we awoke to one of the fiercest lightning and thunderstorms I have ever experienced. Safety concerns aside, it was fun to watch the lightning brighten the sky while the thunder cracked, the winds blew, and the rain came pelting down. It was a reminder to me of the power of God.

But that is not my topic for today.

Today, as I was reading 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16, I was struck by the concept of imitation.

Today, we often hear the word in the context of something like, Don’t accept a cheap imitation. But this passage uses the word in its positive sense.

A Christian should be a striking likeness of Jesus Christ.… We should be pictures of Christ.… Oh! My brethren, there is nothing that can so advantage you, nothing can so prosper you, so assist you, so make you walk towards heaven rapidly, so keep your head upwards towards the sky, and your eyes radiant with glory, like the imitation of Jesus Christ. Charles Spurgeon

An imitator is one who follows. The Greek word is related to several English words:

A mime is one who imitates an another person or action.
A pantomime is a theater production which originally was without words.
A mimeograph is a machine which makes many copies from one stencil.

In the New Testament, the word is used to describe someone who follows an authoritative pattern, a standard. In this case, the standard is Jesus Christ Himself, who suffered and died for our sake, and Paul, who himself suffered for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We become imitators of Christ as we become exposed to Him through His written Word and as we follow Him in obedience to the written Word. We pattern our lives after Christ and after the good, godly examples that God places in our lives.

In verse 14, Paul writes that the Thessalonians had become imitators of the church in Jesus Christ. They were following the example set by Paul and his team of missionaries. Like Paul, they were willing to suffer for the gospel. Their actions spoke volumes to the people in the region. Their testimony for Christ was well known.

Actions always speak louder than words.

Like the Thessalonian believers, we are called, as Larry Richards writes, to reproduce in our own way of life those godly qualities that result from salvation and that we see in others. In turn, we are to be clear, living examples of the practical implications of commitment to Jesus.

1 comment:

Emmanuel Family Blessings said...

Sorry for interrupting but do you know any expert counselor or family blessings lecturer? I think with all the troubles my family is experiencing, we badly need either of the two. Thanks.