Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
1 Thessalonians 1:4-10 (NIV)
4 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 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. 6 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. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
We know that children learn most quickly from the examples of those around them. No amount of lecturing can substitute for a good model. It is the same for us as we learn, ever more, how to follow God. We learn most quickly what we see modeled around us. Who are you watching as you follow after God? Who are your models of faith? Additionally, we speak volumes with our actions! What are we teaching others about what we believe, about who we follow? Today, let us be good models! Let the world see our joy that we are children of God. Let the world know that we have hope even in suffering, that we have courage in the face of hardship and that we have love and peace in the midst of our days.