Our leadership team is starting a study of 1 Thessalonians this week. At first, I was kinda chugging right along, getting it done, checking off the boxes.
1. Overview of entire book – check.
2. Chapter 1 Analysis – check.
Wait. I’d done the outline for the chapter, but thought I’d better go back and do some meditating and try to ask myself some application questions. I’m so glad I did. One verse lit up like a neon sign.
In his opening comments to the church of Thessalonica, Paul summarizes their response to the gospel, their initial steps of obedience and faith, and lets them know what a blessing they have been to him and to the entire Body of Christ.
In verse six he says, “You became imitators of us and of the Lord.”
That verse first stuck out because I was thinking of some people who have significantly steered my journey with the Lord, and some of the aspects of their relationship with Christ that particularly inspire me. There have been so many, (thank you Lord,) but one that jumped out was a friend, Shaunda.
She played a huge role in my life when I was in my early twenties. She was a young mom of 4 kids – some in school, some still at home – and was taking time out of her daily life to pray with me, talk to me about the Word, and humbly share her own struggles. I distinctly remember coming over one day and finding the entire living room covered with index cards. She was attempting to begin memorizing scripture again, after a bit of a hiatus from it. I didn’t think much of it.
Now, in that same season of life, I’m so deeply encouraged by her zeal and humble spirit – the love for the Lord that pushed her to start over in a discipline which had fallen by the wayside. She humbled herself before the Lord and started anew. I want to imitate that faith and start anew in a few areas with the Lord. Scripture memory is as good a place to start anew as any. I’ll think of her as I try to catch up to my Bible study gals who are zipping through verses!!!
3. Really enjoy God’s word and make some real life applications – check
I was ready to shut the book on the thing and start thinking about facilitating a discussion on the chapter when something started really bugging me. What about the gals who may imitate MY faith?? What will they see? What is my legacy to them? What will they remember, years from now, when their own careers and kids are swarming around them?
4. Get on your knees and beg for God’s mercy, grace, and forgiveness, and pray for the lives of the amazing ladies (and children) you are surrounded with who may be watching you!!- check. Double check.