Summary: Our text teaches us three ways we are to show others the image of Jesus.
Opening video illustration: From the movie Amistad. In the scene two slave prisoners are in the jail cell and looking through the Bible and seeing the image of Jesus. The one slave is pointing out Jesus to the other one.
Summary of first two messages:
Sermon1: Reflect His Image! 1 Thess. Chp 1 (see pp slide)
Sermon 2: Be His Image! 1 Thess. Chp. 2 (see pp slide)
Sermon 3: Show His Image! (see pp slide)
Scripture Text: 1 Thessalonians 3
1So when we could stand it no longer, we thought it best to be left by ourselves in Athens.
2We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God’s fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith,
3so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. You know quite well that we were destined for them.
4In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know.
5For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless.
6But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you.
7Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith.
8For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.
9How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?
10Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.
11Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you.
12May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.
13May 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.
Show His image by walking around holding up a picture of Jesus! How well are you at showing others the image of Jesus? Especially in the tough times, the times of persecution or opposition to the Gospel. This is what the Thessalonians were doing but here is the twist they received persecution and trouble for doing this!
The Thessalonians became role-models for the Mediterranean region of the world and their faith, hope and love imitated Jesus so much they became examples to many others of what it means to be a Christian. They impacted 1,000 of people with their godly lives and their church became known as a church that everyone admired and respected. They were great at reflecting the image of Jesus, being the image of Jesus and showing others the image of Jesus.
The question could be asked, “Why were they so effective?”
This poem tells why?
Poem “Sermons We See” – written by Edgar A. Guest was born in Birmingham, England, became a United States citizen in 1902. His poem drives home the urgency of being a good, Christ-like role model for others to follow like the Thessalonians were:
I’d rather see a sermon
than hear one any day;
I’d rather one should walk with me
than merely tell the way.
The eye’s a better pupil
and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing,
but example’s always clear;
And the best of all the preachers
are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action
is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn to do it
if you’ll let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action,
but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lecture you deliver
may be very wise and true,
But I’d rather get my lessons
by observing what you do;
For I might misunderstand you
and the high advice you give,
But there’s no misunderstanding
how you act and how you live.
When I see a deed of kindness,
I am eager to be kind.
When a weaker brother stumbles
and a strong man stays behind
Just to see if he can help him,
then the wish grows strong in me
To become as big and thoughtful
as I know that friend to be.
And all travelers can witness
that the best of guides today