The pioneers who explored our country left their mark by blazing trails. Blazing means to hack trees or mark stones in some way to leave a semi-permanent mark. Those who would follow later could then find their way.
People try to leave their mark in this world in various ways. Some leave money to institutions and even get their names engraved on buildings. Some leave their mark by setting athletic records. Others leave behind creative inventions, great accomplishments, or personal involvement in their communities.
The believers in Thessalonica left their mark in a different way. They were examples of what a genuine Christian is all about. Paul gives testimony to this fact in 1 Thess. 1:7: “So that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe”. The word “examples” is the Greek word “typon”. We get our word type from it. It means to make a mark. It was used to describe a stamp that minted coins. Those believers left their mark for others to see the way to live a genuine Christian life. They left their idols and turned to serve the living and true God. They boldly sounded forth the word of God. They were examples also by eagerly expecting Christ to return. Paul points us to follow their trail.
Are we leaving a clear mark for those who come behind us to find their way to Christ and to follow Him closely? Does the way that we live and the words that we use leave a mark for those who do not know Christ? The world that we live in can resemble a wilderness of twists and turns, truth and error, and good and bad choices. Are we marking a clear path to God for others? Are we blazing a trail for our children and grandchildren? I recently read a definition of success that I have adopted for my own life. My desire is to live in such a way that the people who know me the best respect me the most. Be a pioneer, leave your mark for those who come behind you to see a clear path to God.
Pastor Stultz has been writing this weekly devotional for many years. In 2009, he published a compilation of devotionals in book form, also called Moments of Meditation