“Get real with God right now. Are you training for the prize? Are you doing what it takes to live a life sold out to Jesus? Are you exercising your prayer life to increase your heart capacity for Jesus? Are you working out with the Lord daily?” – Carla McDougal
If I close my eyes I can think of several imitators of Christ. They are people whose work is produced by faith, whose labor is prompted by love, and whose endurance is inspired by hope. The notes explain hope in 1 Corinthians 13:13 as, “not unfounded wishful thinking, but a FIRM confidence in Christ and His return.” Like the Thessalonians, these imitators are examples for me to follow; people whose experiences have influenced my character and have even contributed to my healing.
“We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
“This letter (1 Thess.) encourages believers to walk in a manner worthy of Jesus Christ.” says Carla McDougal on page 174 (of her Devotional book "Reflecting Him"). If only my feet would step into His shoe prints so that my life would please Him, but there are moments when I misstep, veer off and away instead of imitating Him. I always persevere finding His trail again in the wilderness. He leaves me trail markers so I don’t get lost or lose hope. The NIV Study Bible further says about 1 Corinthians 13:13, “God is love and has communicated His love to us and commands us to love one another.”
My friends and family love me. We’re linked together in a race to get Home (those of us who believe in Him). If one falls, we stop and assist because God’s love for us spreads to those around us. My strongest friendships and family relationships and connections come from this relationship in which some of us share with God. It’s a love that binds.