This is the question that I’ve been asking myself last night and this morning. Am I challenged to be better? A better husband, dad, mentor and even Christ follower? This question came about after trying to read 1 Thessalonians last night and only being able to read chapter one over and over again.
In verse 5 of the chapter, Paul says, “For our Gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power; and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.”
And 6-7 goes on to say, “And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the Word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe.”
The life that Paul, Silvanus and Timothy lived while they were there had a huge effect on them. It challenged them to be better. It challenged them to live the same lifestyle the Paul, Silvanus and Timothy lived. The Thessalonians didn’t want to become Paul, but they were encouraged to be better. In doing so it had a huge impact on the people they encountered.
As I was meditating on this chapter I couldn’t help but think of my mentor JJ. I (we) miss JJ and our extended family at SOS for that exact reason. At least for me, I was challenged to be better. Not only by the words JJ would speak while preaching but also by the life that he lives every day. Like the Thessalonians with Paul, JJ made me long to be like him. Not like JJ the man but like JJ the Christ follower. To mimic his love and compassion for the Word and the Kingdom.
We have been away from SOS Ministries for quite a while now. Sure, we’ve been back from time to time but nothing like we used to. I can say it’s because of this or because of that but all they would be is excuses. I think if we get down to the root cause it’s because we were duped by the enemy. Opportunities came our way and we took them. Not realizing that not every opportunity is one God wants us to take.
As I was meditating and praying about the question “am I challenged?” the answer is no. No, I am not being challenged. And please do not get this twisted. I am not saying anything bad about the Church we attend now or any of the others we have attended in the past. What I am saying is that my focus needs to be realigned. My attention and commitment needs to be refocused.
I have realized that when God brought us to SOS almost five years ago it was for a purpose. God brought us there to be under JJ’s leadership. Kind of like how Paul was to Timothy, JJ was and needs to still be there for me. There has been something missing for a while and I couldn’t put my finger on it until now. Until I read the first chapter of 1 Thessalonians last night. And it’s funny because I’ve read those very words a hundred times and never saw it until last night.
With my revelation I present the question to you… Are you being challenged? Or are you just going through the motions of going to Church? You should be able to look at who you are now and who you were a year ago and see a change. You should be stronger in your walk with Jesus. You should be impacting the people you encounter. If that’s not the case then you must reevaluate who it is you are under.