1 Thessalonians 1,5-7
Paul, Silas and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.
You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.
Paul, Silas and Timothy loved the people in Thessalonica. They became ONE OF the people in Thessalonica. They immersed themselves in the muck of the culture and lived like a shining beacon, pointing to the heart of the Father.
The people of Thessalonica were so impressed with the character of the three men that they began to imitate what they saw. They began to imitate the heart of God, as it transferred through Paul, Silas and Timothy.
The people of Macedonia and Achaia took notice of the wave of momentum building as the Kingdom took root in the hearts and lives of the community. And the example of Paul, Silas and Timothy continued to spread.
Three men imitated the incarnation by living a holy life in a broken culture and an unstoppable movement began in a new place. They went far beyond simply being FOR the people… They didn’t stop at simply being WITH the people… They committed to life of being ONE OF the people.
THAT’S HOW DISCIPLES ARE MADE AND THAT’S HOW THE KINGDOM SPREADS.
What culture are you committed to being ONE OF? What community are you standing in, empathizing with and living for? And who is standing with you?
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)