In Acts 17 we see Paul and companions turn up in Thessalonica in the next phase of their outreach. They do the sensible thing by preaching Jesus the Messiah in the synagogue, i.e. where they are likely to find people ready to hear the good news.
Some believe, from different backgrounds (Jewish and non-Jewish), the makings of a new local church. The story moves quickly, with resentment and opposition brewing until an angry mob descends on the house of Jason - presumably one of the recent converts who is giving Paul and his team a place to stay.
Within months of discovering Christ, Jason finds himself in danger from the mob and in trouble with the law. He survives the ordeal but they decide things are too heated for Paul and the team (or most of the team) to stay ... so they move on. Left behind are perhaps one or two of the outreach team, Jason and the other new believers.
As the letters to Thessalonians testify, they survived! The church was established and mission to the local area continued through them. Think about it - having had just a few months Christian training how did they achieve this? Why didn't they just fall apart (or fall away) as soon as the adversity and disruption came?
The answers surely lie in their own personal encounter with Jesus and the discipleship instilled into them even in that short time. In this new series 'Urgent Lives' will be looking through the two letters to the Thessalonians with this in mind. Somehow Jason and others had a closeness to Jesus that enabled them to endure. It suggests the question to ask ourselves:
[UP]: How do you live life with Jesus close by?
Challenge: Form a partnership/prayer triplet
A good discipleship habit is to be in a partnership/prayer triplet, a small cluster of trusted individuals where you can share openly and honestly about your walk with Jesus. Affirming and lovingly challenging each other, enabling you to honestly assess your spiritual walk - this is Sharing the Walk, discipleship done together.
The early Thessalonian believers were able to see Kingdom Life appear across their city and out to surrounding areas. That is exactly what we want to see across our city. Are we willing to form discipleship habits that will sustain us, to know the close presence of Jesus even through inevitable trouble and hardship?