I was listening to an ABC’s sport commentator’s comments following the loss of Nick Kyrgios’ to Andy Murray in the Australian Open Tennis Championship earlier in the week. He commented on Kyrgios’ awesome tennis skills. He predicted that Kyrgios, although only 19 years old, will have a very bright future. But the commentator also commented that Kyrgios is a poor role model for the youth of Australia in the way he plays tennis. His anger, aggression and the words he uses whilst on and off the tennis court was noted as not becoming of a leading Australian sportsman. This is very much the case for many who are ‘leading lights’ in our nation in not only sport but other spheres as well. There are very few good role models we can point our children and youth to as examples to follow.
I often wonder what examples we are as Christians to those whom God has placed in our lives. Are we good role models to follow? What do those closest to us see in us? Would they say of us that we are good replicas of the Jesus whom we follow? These are tough questions to ask of us but they are important questions to ask! And what of our little church here on the corner of Kensington and Premier Streets? What do observers see in us and say of us?
The church in Thessalonica was an outstanding church. Paul loved this little church that he planted under much duress. They had little or no training. Yet they made a huge impact on downtown Thessalonica and not only on the city but in their region and far beyond. What was their secret? How were their lives transformed so radically that they truly left their mark on the world?
Paul shares with us what was behind such radical transformation to people who were no different to us. They were an odd mix of people but together they made a huge difference to their community. At the center of everything was their relationship with Jesus. With little training, they become known as imitators of Jesus as well as Paul and Silas. They are known through history because of their hard and faithful works. But above all they are for their love for Jesus and their dedication to Him. This is a great place for us to start as we commence our new series in ‘Living to Please God’!