Gleanings – You Make Me Sick! Thank You.

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

“And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit; so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.”

Years ago Dustin Hoffman and Morgan Freeman starred in a movie called Outbreak. The movie centered on the efforts to contain an Ebola like virus. The virus was of course deadly. No surprise there. But what made it frightful was that it was airborne. It had the power to infect millions in a matter of weeks.

In the early days of the church faith was similarly contagious with the opposite effect. It could infect millions within weeks giving abundant life to everyone within its path. That is what Paul is describing in these opening verses of 1 Thessalonians. He and his companions have spent time among the Thessalonians. They have consequently come to faith. The Thessalonians are now imitators of their fathers in the faith which of course means they were followers of Jesus.

And under the power of the Holy Spirit their faith, one with full conviction, has spread. It has infected people in Macedonia and Achaia. Farther says Paul. “Your faith has gone forth everywhere.” It is so contagious that “everywhere” Paul goes people have heard of the miraculous work of God among the Thessalonians. Paul and companions have nothing to add. What they planned to say has arrived ahead of them. It is airborne.

What if such faith were alive and well among us today? Given our proximity here and our ability to travel the world, contagious faith could alter the face of the globe within weeks, if not within days or hours. Neighbors would come to faith. Neighborhoods would follow. In turn towns, cities, metropolitan areas, states and nations would catch the bug. Contagious faith would make millions, perhaps billions, sick with the love of God.  Many of us would long to have our headstones read, “He made people sick. RIP.” If only such faith were alive and well today.

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