Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
1 Thessalonians 1:2-10
2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, 3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. 9 For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
In 1993 Nike aired a controversial commercial marketing it’s new basketball sneakers with Charles Barkley declaring, “I am not a role model.” He went on to say that it was not his job to raise your kids, it was his job to wreak havoc on the basketball court. Barkley is right in the fact that just having money or success doesn’t make you a role model. What makes you a role model is taking personal responsibility for the lives of those around you and living as an example for them.
Here’s an important truth for all Children of God: when you got saved God called you to be a role model. We are told multiple times in Scripture to live in such a way that others might follow in our footsteps. Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 4 to not let anyone look down on the fact that he was young, but to live as an example of godliness. Jesus said this, “Let your light so shine among men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.” A Child of God is called to be a role model, and Paul says here that the believers at Thessalonica lived as a glowing example of Christ-likeness.
First of all he talks about their work and labor. Living as a role model for the gospel means doing the work of the Lord. Spiritual laziness does not honor Christ, serving does. Secondly, Paul says they had a steadfastness of hope. They endured hardship, they stayed the course, and they didn’t quit on the Lord. A role model is not a quitter, rather he or she is a steadfast servant. Lastly, he says the Word of the Lord sounded forth from them. A life worth emulating is one that is a bold unashamed witness for Christ. A silent saint is a substandard one, because Scripture says God’s standard for us is to make disciples.
Have you embraced the fact that God has called you to be a role model or are you trying to pass the ball to someone else? Today, may our attitude, words, and actions shout praise to the One who died for our sins on Calvary’s cross. Dads, be men your sons and daughters can look up to. Moms, be women that exemplify the grace and wisdom of Jesus. Young people, be different from your peers and shine forth spiritual maturity. Be a trendsetter for the gospel. Not a role model? I beg to differ. Somebody is watching you and following your example. What is your response?
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, you saved me so that I would bring glory to You and lead others to Your grace. You have called me to be a role model in Your Kingdom. Help me do just that today. May my words, attitude, and actions lead people to You today. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
1 Corinthians 2:9
What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him