Scriptural Gem for March 2012

In 1 Thessalonians 1:4-7 we read: "For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering 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..."

The Greek word translated 'model' in the passage above is the word 'Tupos'. This word literally means 'The indent of a blow, causing an imprint.' Now, we know that this is how a mold is formed with which one can produce the same shape over and over, like a cookie cutter. The shape and form of the cake/biscuit will always be the same. What Paul is actually saying here is that the message of Christ had 'indented' the Thessalonians to such a degree that they had been shaped just like Him. Therefore, in good circumstances or bad, they produced the same Christ-like behaviour. In fact he says that the Lord's message rang out clearly from them constantly, without change, so that it became known everywhere. This is an authentic testimony.

The mold does not have to think about what shape it is supposed to produce next. It just produces that shape because it itself is shaped in that specific way. So, if our responses are sometimes this, sometimes that, depending on our circumstances, we have a problem - and no real testimony of Him in us...

O Lord, indent us with the imprint of Christ, so that we will produce the same response according to His nature every time... Amen

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