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Have you had someone in your life that served as a spiritual mentor? Maybe you knew the person personally or maybe you admired them from afar, but that godly person inspired your daily walk with Jesus.
I think one of the strongest lessons of walking by faith I’ve witnessed is when my mentor went through a difficult time. I saw her continue to trust in God’s provision and to walk faithfully even when the circumstances were hard and the outcome was uncertain.
Our Week 2 lessons centered on following the example of godly people in our lives. We are to imitate their path of faithfulness and endurance especially when life beats us up. We are to remember that we are a piece of a greater community of faith.
On Day 1, we studied the persecution that Paul and his companions had endured for the sake of the gospel. Yet, they were driven to continue to wholeheartedly serve and please God in order to be entrusted to share the gospel with others. Their example can encourage us in moments where we feel that we have failed in our service to God. Beth Moore wanted us to focus on the fact that the difficulties that we face are sometimes from God testing us for trustworthiness.
“On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.” 1 Thessalonians 2:4
Our lesson for Day 2 contrasted the two words: flattery and compliment. We considered their differences and appropriate usage to nurture and encourage others in the faith. We also looked at the example of Paul and how he and his companions did not seek their own glory. We also considered the impact of sharing our lives with others which was centered around 1 Thessalonians 2:8.
“We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.”
On Day 3, we investigated the idea that walking with God is not just an activity but a part of our faith. To say “we walk with God” means that we know Him and have fellowship with Him. We studied several biblical examples of those who walked with God and we looked at the first and last mention in scripture of walking related to God.
The lesson for Day 4 dealt with persecution and the suffering of believers. Beth Moore wanted us to recognize that suffering for the sake of the gospel unites believers. A power of solidarity exists among the community of faith when that happens. Paul makes a point of letting the Thessalonian church know that the church in Judea had undergone the same type of persecution.
“For you, brothers, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews,”
Our final lesson for the week, Day 5, hinged on the idea that we are created for community. Paul, Silas, and Timothy were forced to leave quickly from Thessalonica and were saddened at having left. They felt a deep connection to the church which led Paul to describe them as their hope, their joy, their glory and their crown. (1 Thessalonians 2:19,20) We finished our lesson by considering our own similar feelings towards the individuals and groups that we serve alongside.
Questions to Consider
- What are a few things that I believe God searches and tests my heart to find?
- Am I authentic in my walk before God and mankind?
- Do I use flattery and/or compliments in a godly way?
- Do I readily give godly encouragement to those serving around me?
- Do I not only share the gospel message but also share my life with others?
- What are some practical things that I can do to help my persecuted brothers and sisters around the world?
I’m so thankful for you and your commitment to learning and growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. You’re awesome!
Begin Week 3 lessons this week.