Practical stuff for those who call themselves “Christians” this morning from my Bible reading…
Apostle Paul’s gave these instructions to the Christians in Thessalonica about “HOW TO LIVE IN ORDER TO PLEASE GOD” … “instructions, he said, given by the authority of the Lord Jesus!” (1 Thessalonians 4.1-13).
As I read them over this morning, I was convinced they could just as well have been written to Christians anywhere today… August 2, 2022!! Paul urged followers of Jesus over 2000 years ago to give their obedient attention to three major things (and they are certainly immediately applicable to Christians today!)…
- AVOID SEXUAL IMPURITY – LIVE MORALLY PURE LIVES IN A SEXUALLY ORIENTED CULTURE
He told them “It is God’s will that you should be SANCTIFIED [set apart from sin to God’s will]: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God… The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins… for God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you His Holy Spirit.” Wow! What important instruction for Christians today who live in a permissive, sex-crazed world where “anything goes!”
2. LOVE ONE ANOTHER IN A SELF-GIVING, SELF-SACRIFICIAL WAY
He continued, “Now about your love for one another…you have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all of God’s family… yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more!” The Bible is clear on this issue! The strength of our testimony in our world today according to Jesus is, “They will know you are My disciples by your love one to another!”
3. And finally, Paul urged Christians in the 1st century to LIVE OUT A POSITIVE WORK ETHIC IN A WORLD SO OFTEN FILLED WITH “SLACKERS”
He urged them, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and 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 anyone.”
Seems to me this is practical guidance – important instruction – serious stuff for anyone who calls themself a “Christian” …in the first century in Thessalonica … and anyone who claims to follow Jesus in our world today, August 2, 2022)!