1 Thess. 1:6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.
The followers of Jesus Christ in Thessalonica were inspired by the life of Paul and his ministry team. They were genuine and transparent in the way they lived their lives. They were a people of prayer, inspired by the Holy Spirit. This led them to be an active people of faith, living out and imitating the life of Paul. They had seen the ways in which he was persecuted but this did not stop them from boldly living out their faith. They combined their prayers with the imitation of Paul and of Christ — actions which spoke louder than their words. Their lives became an example to those in the entire region.
The daily challenge of the Christian life is the call to action. We are to rise up and follow Christ into the world. There is no promise that this will be easy, or that we will not face persecution. On the contrary, if we follow Christ, we will face difficulties — for Christ did!
Spending time in prayer with our heavenly Father empowers us for action. The followers in Thessalonica received the word of God and “with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit.” This was what empowered them for work and ministry. Their own lives became a living testament to the transformational work and power of the Holy Spirit.
After time in the word and in prayer, we are empowered to engage in Jesus’ ministry in this world. There may be seasons when we are called to prayer and we must wait upon the Lord’s nudging before moving and/or acting. But don’t use prayer as an excuse to not engage in action for the kingdom’s sake. Jesus often got away to spend time with the Father in prayer and then got up and to the business of ministry.
Prayer is the place where get to know the very heart of God, and then we rise up and follow his leading. In this way our lives, too, become an example for the believers. May God give us the grace to enter into this kind of a relationship with our loving Savior.
Lord, please help me to be joyfully inspired by the Holy Spirit and spurred into action for you. Amen.
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