I Thessalonians 1-3
Apprentice: Learning from the Master was the theme for Family Camp 2015. Our son suggested the theme while coming home from Family Camp the previous year. And it stuck. “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ” I Corinthians 11:1. We have a responsibility to be following our Master Jesus (who was following God’s will and direction every step of the way) – not only for our benefit – but to lead and guide and instruct others how to also follow Christ and become more and more like Jesus.
I see Apprentice all over these first three chapters of I Thessalonians. When Paul was blinded on the road to Damascus he entered training to be an Apprentice of the Lord Jesus Christ. But he didn’t hide away with his new-found life – taking it out every Sunday to display at church. It was his life and breath and joy and struggle – to be lived and fought for every day – to take people to Jesus that they might become apprentices as well – learning and teaching the craft of loving, serving, following, obeying Christ and His Father. Listen again to some of these phrases:
“You became imitators of us and of our Lord: in spite of severe suffering” (1:6)
“And so you became a model to all the believers” (1:7)
“The Lord’s message rang out from you” (1:8)
“For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.” (2:19,20)
“For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.” (3:8)
Do you want to be a better Apprentice?
First – check your walk – are you living what you’ve learned from Jesus the Master? Do you do the work that Jesus did? How can you follow Jesus better? More consistently? Does the Lord’s message ring out from you? Do you imitate the world or do you imitate Christ and Christian role-models?
How can you reach out to others as Jesus did? And as Paul did? Who do you pray earnestly for night and day – that their faith will be strong?
Who will be your hope, your joy or your crown in which you will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes?
“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.” (3:12-13).