April 1st, 2019

“We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
-1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

How does Jesus look at a Church? Paul in 1 Thessalonians gives us a pattern for a church.
 
A church is a place where people know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Our objective is to find people who are in need of the love and reconciliation through the saving blood of Jesus and share our experiences.
 
God wants a surrendered church, committed people. Thessalonians were not people who talked about it, but they were imitators. They did not just talk about their Christian experience, they lived it. In 1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul says, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” In Ephesians once again Paul says, “Follow God’s example.”
 
The church was committed to one thing “Christ-likeness.” They were committed to being like Jesus, not to another individual with shortcomings.
 
A. W. Tozer said, “If you have a hundred pianos you want to tune and you start tuning one to the other, what a mess. But if you have a tuning fork, tune all the pianos to that one tuning fork, and they’ll automatically be tuned to each other.”
Paul says the Thessalonians’ church didn’t have it easy because Satan was not too pleased so he brought dissension. When a church that is saved and surrenders to imitating Christ, it is going to antagonize the world. There is going to be suffering but it will have the Holy Spirit to help it through its suffering.
 
The Thessalonian church was also a soul winning church–Thessalonians 1:6-8, “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. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it.” Paul says because of your actions, people are talking about you everywhere I go. What a testimony for a church.
 
Heine, the German philosopher, once said, “You show me your redeemed life, and I might believe in your redeemer.”
 
The world saw such exemplary lives and dramatic transformation in their character, the world could not believe it. It created a platform for the church to go proclaim the power of God’s word.
 
The Thessalonian church was a saved, surrendered, suffering, soul winning church but they did not stop there. They also talked about the second coming of Christ. The Lord wants us to remind the world that He is coming again. But this time as a King and Judge of the world.
 
How does Jesus look at our church? A saved, surrendered, suffering, soul winning and looking forward to HIS second coming or otherwise? It is something to think about.
 
My desire is to be like the Thessalonian church, vibrant, enthusiastic, joy overflowing and others looking at us and saying we can see Jesus in full glory. “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” 2 Peter 3:14.
 
Have a wonderful spring, enjoy all the blessings God has given us and be grateful for His mercy.
 
God bless,
Pastor Shaker