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The Making of a M.O.D.E.L … be imprinted with the MARK of Jesus

You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere.
1 Thessalonians 1:6-8

Good morning ladies. How great it is to dig deeply into the refreshing word of the Lord. Glad you could join me. Today is a good day to look at Paul’s enthusiastic commendation of his friends in Thessalonica. Their faith had become a model to believers far and wide. We’ll make it our aim this week to check out the world of the model. 

Of course, the model we women love to hate is the fashion model. Think of Twiggy, or Elle Macpherson, or Kylie Bisutti; think tall, willowy, gorgeous. Each made her mark in one way or another. Whereas Twiggy was naturally skinny, the envy of the wannabes of the mid-60s initiated the anorexic craze. Elle, to make a point, decided it appropriate to pose nude for Playboy. Thankfully, Kylie chose the positive route this spring when she quit the Victoria Secret runway, quit to honor God, husband and marriage.

But I digress. Sorry. The model we wish to emulate is Jesus. He has left a mark of a different kind. As the Holman Commentary explains: “In the first century the word model referred to the mark left by a hammer or die as in the making of a coin, leaving an impression like the original.”

The folks in Thessalonica obviously had the mark of Jesus on them. How do we know? They welcomed the message (of the gospel) with the joy given by the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering they were undergoing. The Lord’s message rang out from them loud and clear. Their faith in God became known everywhere

Visualize the minting of a coin in antiquity. Imagine troubling circumstances hammering down upon you, not of your choosing. Now imagine, mid-strike, the hammer or die in the hand of the Spirit, converting your outward suffering to inner joy so others clearly see Jesus.

Whew, I don’t know about you but that’s the impression I wish to bear, the model I’d like to be. It begins with the imprint of the MARK of Jesus on me.

Nancy P

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