Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Reformation Sunday, The Church that has to be Reformed1 Thessalonians 2:13-16
Vs.14 “For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus …….”
Reformation is a change or improvement of a policy or process. Reformation is a continuous, united, and living process. Reformation emphasized the importance of the Bible in personal life, purity, and simplicity of apostolic faith. Any reformation that happens in the Church should be biblically grounded, historically informed, socially engaged and mission oriented. In our passage today Paul is thanking God for the Church, the people of God. He is highlighting three great qualities these people of God possessed that made them different.
1. Receiving the word not as the word of man but as word from God. Vs.13: God communicates to us through His Word. When Paul went preaching the Gospel in Thessalonica and teaching from the scriptures, the people didn’t just hear the word as its coming from the mouth of Paul, they heard and accepted it as if it were the words of God himself. The transforming word of God was at work in the life of the believers in Thessalonians, but for the word to produce transformational results in their hearts, they needed to trust God’s word with the right attitude and a desire to walk in unconditional obedience. Where do we draw our strength from during challenging times? Remember, it is only the word of God that can be our source of truth, the only hope for our heart in challenging times.
2. Becoming imitators of the Churches of God in Christ. Vs.14: They didn’t just heed to Gods word but to grow healthy they started imitating other believers. It doesn’t mean that they started imitating each other’s dressing style, worship style, talking style etc. They imitated each other’s faith, imitated each other’s responses to the call of God over their lives, their response to sufferings and most importantly imitate them in spreading the good news of Jesus wherever they went. As Christians we can imitate healthy marriages, imitate servanthood, imitate prayer life, we also imitate faith-filled responses of other strong believers. But the greatest hindrance that keeps us from imitating each other’s Godly life is pride. Don’t let your pride tell you that you know it better and that you don’t need to learn from others. Identify the areas in which you are struggling and find a godly role-model whom you can imitate so that you can grow as a follower of Christ.
3. Suffering for the sake of the Gospel. Vs 14b: The faith of the believers in Thessalonica was not just a decorative badge they carried around, but it invited trouble and persecution from their fellow men. Jesus said in John 16:33 “In this world, you will have tribulation”, and especially when you are a follower of Jesus. Paul writes in Corinthians 1: 5 “For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.” The believers in the early church when faced with trials and testing’s, instead of breaking down and giving up, endured it with joy knowing that the experiences were drawing them closer to Christ. When we go through such sufferings it’s a reminder that Christ endured the same suffering and much more for our sake and mending our broken relationship with our Heavenly Father. Let us also, therefore, embrace such sufferings with joy.
Almighty God, give us the conviction and lead us to repentance. Help us to grow as a quality Christian, diving deep into scriptures and engaging with it in a meaningful way. Amen.
Thought for the Day
The mark of a strong and healthy Church is in the quality of its people. Trust God’s word with the right attitude and walk in unconditional obedience.
Rev. Manoj Idiculla,
St. Paul’s Mar Thoma Church,