This summer, ten students will dive into 1 & 2 Thessalonians and share their thoughts here every Thursday (aka Thursalonians!). Tune in each week as students from all over the country reflect on God’s Word. Today’s post is from Erin Fain in Virginia.
In 1 Thessalonians 1:4-10, we see the opportunity that we as humans have to reflect God’s image:
“For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”
We were created in God’s image, we share his image, and we are set apart because of it. God did not send Jesus in the form of a bird or a fish; he sent him in the form of man, because people are God’s choice possession above all creation.
Many of the things we see in ourselves are first visible in God. For example, community is seen in God through the Trinity. When we practice living in community, we have an extraordinary chance to give God reason to delight in us. How cool is that?
But in order for us to truly be changed the way the Thessalonians were—“turning to God from idols to serve the living and true God”—we need an encounter with truth. The biggest truth is the gospel: Jesus died on the cross and was then raised from the dead for us. So we know the truth. What now?
Now we get a chance to share Christ’s name; we are called Christians for a reason. We are meant to reflect Christ.
Remember the time when WWJD was all over everything? Shirts, bracelets, you name it. I think the important thing about this fad was not that the question was “Who would Jesus be?” but “What would Jesus do?”
We really get a chance to reflect God’s goodness and power with our actions. Jesus called us to do to others what we would have them do to us: the Golden Rule. And the beautiful thing about doing what Jesus did is that people will come to know God; not because of how awesome we are, but because we are reflecting him.
When people look at you, who do they see? Do they see Jesus? Are there idols in your life that you need to turn away from?
Erin Fain is a student at Christopher Newport University in Virginia where she serves as a small group leader.