1 Thessalonians 1:7-8 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
These believers at Thessalonica were so changed by the gospel of Christ and the leadership of Paul their new pastor that they themselves began to make a difference for Christ. After learning Gods word by following the teachings & examples of Paul, Silas and Timothy, they began to be “ensamples to all that believe” WOW, what a testimony; these new Christians were now making the same difference that was made in them.
Notice the phrase “but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad” This means, not only did this church make a difference in their local area, but also everywhere their name was mentioned, they were known as a faithful and Christ-like church. This 1st century church hit the ground running and grew in their new faith. These believers received the word of God from His messengers and immediately put it into practice. They abandoned the sinful habits of their past and embraced the newness of life in Christ. They did not keep this great new salvation to themselves, but rather spread the message of Christ to everyone they came in contact with. This young church was responsible for many others coming to Christ.
Many people, after salvation will grow to a certain point, then find a “comfort zone” and park it! They may be doing very little for the cause of Christ, then again, they may be mature in faith and serving in the local church but refuse to go any farther in service & faith; in either case this is unfruitful to the cause of Christ and will not make the difference where it counts. We need to work in church and out of church. We should actually work more out of church than in. If our church will grow, we must work hard to fill it up by bringing people in; daily passing out tracts and church/gospel literature, along with sharing your faith with those your come in contact with. I challenge you to get up and move, look for ways to spread the gospel and encourage the saints. Follow the zealous example of this church; notice the Christ-pleasing characteristics of the believer of Thessalonica:
- They were willing to take leadership responsibilities…they “stepped up”
- They were willing to learn the spiritual “ropes” from Paul and other faithful believers
- They had a teachable spirit…they received the word of God, as directly from God
- They were genuinely concerned for the lost people in their community
- They were sincerely in love with their Savior that delivered them from idolatry
- They were careful to maintain a clean & godly testimony
- They desired to grow in faith, learn Gods word & work hard in their church
- They were committed to a faithful Christian life & service oriented…till Christ return!
You too can make a difference for Christ if we are faithful to the same truths and practices of this 1st century church.