Paul’s back story with these guys is found in Acts 17:1-9.
In about a month, I am moving to Thessaloniki, so reading this knowing I’m about to become a Thessalonian, is thrilling! I’m hoping to bring the love of Christ into the refugee camps. Today I imagine myself writing our friends there in a few years, dreaming of penning the words:
“You became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.” (1:6-7)
“Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.” (2:8)
“For who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus His coming?” (2:19)
Isn’t life exciting? We all have the opportunity to pour our lives into each other for the love and education of meeting the Creator who longs for us. I’ve read these verses before with many different people in mind: youth group kids, Martial Arts Academy middle schoolers, Discipleship Training School students, etc. I’ve also been the recipient of a LOT of discipleship from some incredible people: Parents, church family, co-workers at camp, my leadership at YWAM Salem, etc. Doesn’t this capture the heart of those investments?
I met an awesome couple (Seroj and Seda) in Armenia who run a Young Life house. They are with those kids ALL THE TIME. Those kids are constantly over, cooking in the kitchen, playing cards and eating sunflower seeds in the living room, crashing on the couch. Seroj and Seda also are their Ultimate Frisbee coaches and train them many times a week in a park. Their whole lives are for these kids and they don’t get a ton of “me” time. They’re 23 and 25 and have 30 teenage kids. They’ve become heros of mine, and I’m so glad my Armenian loves are in their care.
The fullest life is lived for others. I know a lot of you are mothers and get this on a level I do not. Let’s encourage each other to keep running the race for our joy and crown: seeing our “investments”in the presence of Jesus when He comes.