Thriving Through Thessalonians #4


Thriving Through Thessalonians #4

1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 (MSG)
One final word, friends. We ask you—urge is more like it—that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance. 2 You know the guidelines we laid out for you from the Master Jesus. 3 God wants you to live a pure life. Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity.

4 Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, 5 not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God. 6 Don't run roughshod over the concerns of your brothers and sisters. Their concerns are God's concerns, and he will take care of them. We've warned you about this before. 7 God hasn't invited us into a disorderly, unkempt life but into something holy and beautiful—as beautiful on the inside as the outside.
8 If you disregard this advice, you're not offending your neighbors; you're rejecting God, who is making you a gift of his Holy Spirit. 9 Regarding life together and getting along with each other, you don't need me to tell you what to do. You're God-taught in these matters. Just love one another! 10 You're already good at it; your friends all over the province of Macedonia are the evidence. Keep it up; get better and better at it.
11 Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You've heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. 12 We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.

To Thrive Spiritually love must drive obedience.

1 Thessalonians 4:1 (MAG)
…we told you [what] to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance.

I think the behaviors Paul tells the believers to imitate in order to live a life pleasing to God is Obedience.

When obedience is motivated by love you do things or refrain from doing something according to the impact it will have on the relationship you share with the one you love.

Jesus tells us that Love for God and Others is the rule we are to be obedient to.

If you’re plodding it’s time to practice the 7th habit of a disciple, contemplation to discover why and discover how to do transform the plod into the dance.
                                               
To thrive spiritually they must avoid sexual immorality.

1 Thessalonians 4:3 (MSG)
God wants you to live a pure life. Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity.

Why do I care about someone else’s sex life?
         
When you disregard God’s guidelines for how to live as a human being, there are unforeseen consequences that will hinder you in living the life of a disciple. Living a spirited dance steers you clear of a multitude of unnecessary heart aches.


1 Thessalonians 4:3 (NIV)
 [It is] God's will that you should be sanctified…

Sanctification involves starting from where you are, repenting, letting go of the shame and guilt of the past and moving forward into Christlikeness.

To thrive spiritually love the family

1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 (MSG)
Regarding life together and getting along with each other, you don't need me to tell you what to do. You're God-taught in these matters. Just love one another! 10 You're already good at it; your friends all over the province of Macedonia are the evidence. Keep it up; get better and better at it.

Loving others is an imitation of Christ.

1 Corinthians 13:3 (MSG)
…no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

Love is treating others with respect and meeting their needs as opportunity arises.
                                     
To thrive spiritually be exemplary in civil matters.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (MSG)
11 Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You've heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. 12 We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.

The world is going to hell in a handbasket. Paul says stay calm. Endure the hardship, don’t panic, and trust God.

What are we to do to stop the craziness, to make the world a better place? Paul says do what God called you to do, be the person God called you to be.
                  
The culture pushes us to blend in. Paul says live the life of a disciple in such a way that outsiders see that you do exemplary work even if you have odd values and weird beliefs.

         
Paul says don’t be a freeloader.
         
Living on charity when one is able bodied is not Christian behavior.


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