Do you ever wonder how much superstars actually need their supporting team members? Their supporting actors or actresses? Their supporting band members and backup singers?
Make a mental list right now of lead singers who went solo after successful careers with popular groups singing platinum hits—but their solo career never took off. The list is long.
The apostle Paul had the talent to go solo. He was a spiritual superstar. But look what he says to the Christians in Thessalonica? Writing to them on behalf of himself and his fellow apostles Silas and Timothy, “We also long to see you … Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again” (1 Thessalonians 3:6,10).
Superstar Paul needed these Christians in Thessalonica, even though—by the way—the relationship had caused him “distress and persecution” (1 Thessalonians 3:7).
He needed them. Why? For what? Paul had hundreds of other Christian friends, and his close companions Silas and Timothy, and the Holy Spirit and Jesus directly communicated with him.
Listen for the answer in these words of Paul to the Thessalonian Christians, “For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you” (1 Thessalonians 3:8,9).
For Paul, seeing other Christians in mutual friendship and fellowship is not a social thing, or practical or psychological. It can be some of those things, but for Paul it is primarily spiritual.
Paul can’t wait to see them because he sees them with spiritual eyes standing firm “in the Lord.” And he doesn’t just thank them but he thanks God for them, and his joy isn’t just in them but in the presence of God. Needing other Christians for Paul is a sign of his spiritual faith and maturity.
Not needing other Christians, therefore, indicates a lack of spiritual faith and maturity. How did Paul need and encourage others, especially as a superstar?
Paul knew he needed Jesus every day. Paul loved needing Jesus and for Paul, Jesus was his superstar. When you love Jesus like Paul did, then you need a group of Christians who love Jesus too.
Here are thoughts you have about your group of Christians, like a Bible study group or LifeGroup:
“Good news about your faith and love…”
“Encouraged about you because of your faith…”
“Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you” (1 Thessalonians 3:6,7,11,12).
“I can’t wait to see you,” you tell them, seeing them just as God sees you.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank you for other Christians around me, who love me and love you. Bond us together in closer groups, to enjoy fellowship and faith. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: What kind of group ministry is offered at your church? How can you participate? Make it better? Do you think this could be a blessing not just to others, but to you? Pray about that.