Thursday, January 24, 2019

I Thessalonians 4 Part One

I Thessalonians 4:1-12

As children of God we need to stand firm in our faith. We also need to walk in faith. We must live our lives in a manner that is pleasing and honoring to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our relationship with Jesus Christ and our love for Him must be most important in our lives. Hence, we must seek to please and glorify the Lord in all things. We must desire to be obedient to our Lord's every wish. Our motives, attitudes, and actions need to demonstrate the presence of the Lord in our lives.

We need to walk in holiness in our lives of faith. We must not be in control of our own lives. God must be in control of our lives. Our whole purpose for being on this earth is to please God and to bring glory and honor to His name. Our passion must be to increasingly grow in our desire to please the Lord. I Thessalonians 4:1 tells us, "Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more."

God wants us to become increasingly sanctified or set apart for the Lord. He says to us in I Corinthians 6:19b-20, "You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."  We must excel in holiness and passionately desire the Lord's presence in our lives. We need to desire the Lord more and more and desire the world less and less. We need to be striving for holiness in our lives because of our love for the Lord and because of our passionate desire to serve Him in all things.

Immorality was rampant in the Roman empire at the time the letter of I Thessalonians was written. The Apostle Paul was very concerned that the Thessalonian church would remain faithful and holy in this kind of environment. We also live in a very immoral society and world today. We need to be outraged by the temptations and lack of morality all around us. We must be very careful that we are not carried along by the immorality and philosophies of the world around us. Our lives as children of the Lord must be different than the lives of the worldly people around us. We must be carried along by the Lord and His wisdom and standards as revealed to us in His Holy Word.

If we do not walk in the Lord's ways, there are always adverse consequences. Walking in the Lord's ways, however, always brings blessings. Paul said in I Thessalonians 4:6b-7, "The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life." The Lord calls His children to holiness. We are being disobedient to His will, if we are not striving to increasingly live in holiness.

In our walk of faith we must walk in holiness. We must also walk in harmony with our fellow believers. We must love our fellow believers in Christ, because we "have been taught by God to love each other" (I Thessalonians 4:9b).  God instructs us to love our fellow believers and to live in harmony with them, and the Lord instructs us "to do so more and more" (I Thessalonians 4:10b). We must not let petty arguments or selfish motives interfere with our love for our fellow believers in Christ.

Finally, in our walk of faith we must also walk in honesty.  I Thessalonians 4:11-12 says, "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."  We must be minding our own business and not deliberately stirring up trouble. We must be busy in the things of the Lord. The Lord will return someday. We want to be found busy in the things of the Lord and striving to live holy lives for Him.

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