September 19/1Thessalonians 4

Here is a quick summary of this chapter:

Verses 1-12 > Who we live for today really does determine:

Verses 13-17 > Where we live in the future which also indicates:

Verse 18 > Whether we will be encouraged or not!

Yesterday at Hilltop Pastor Jeremy talked about ‘Living with Mission’. Mission gives purpose. People without purpose tend to live aimlessly and die younger than those with purpose.

Verse 1 > Paul gives us our Mission/Purpose here in this verse. He says that our Mission in life should be to live in a way that pleases God. He says that the people in the Thessalonica church are doing this but he encourages them to do it even more and better. It seems like in America we are always trying to build a more and ‘better mouse trap’. We are never satisfied and are always trying to improve upon what we have. I believe that this is the creativity of God coming out in us. Take almost anything that we use today and see how much better it is than it was a few years ago. The dial telephone/cell phone, the horse and buggy/automobile, the pencil and paper/lap top computer, black and white television/LED flat screen, fans/air conditioning, wood fire/microwaves, washboard by the river/digital washing machines, public library/kindle reader, etc.

What if we took our creativity with us and used it to please the Lord with the way we conducted our lifestyle? In verse 3 Paul says that one way to please the Lord is to stay away from sexual sin. This means that if I am married I am to only have sex with my marriage partner. If I am single I am not to have sex at all. If I am a guy I am not to have sex with a guy. If I am a girl I am not to have sex with a girl. If I am a human being I am only to have sex with another human being. So if I am have sex or not having sex the way God ordains I am pleasing him. But how do I get creative in pleasing him in this area? Paul tells us how when he uses the word ‘holy’ in verses 3, 4, and 7.

The word ‘holy’ here means to be separated unto God for his use but is also implies developing godly character. Holiness is more than just separating oneself from sin. The Pharisees were good at separating themselves but they were not good at exhibiting holiness. They may not have sinned sexually but they looked down on people calling them sinners and even criticizing Jesus for hanging out with them. Imagine criticizing God! Remember how they treated the woman caught in adultery? see John 8. Again it is one thing to separate from sin but the more pleasing way, the way of the ‘better mouse trap’ is to develop godly character.

There are married men and women who do not cheat on each other however they don’t treat each other with Love & Respect. They are not improving on their marriage. Do you think God is pleased?

There are men and women who do not commit fornication but they hold grudges, slander people and gossip. They are not improving their character. Do you think God is pleased?

There are those who do not dabble in pornography, they don’t lust after others and they are careful with what they put before their eyes. And yet these same people are proud, impatient and rude. Do you think God is pleased?

Ask the Holy Spirit, after all He is the expert in Holiness, to help you get creative in developing a ‘better mouse trap character’ so that you can get on with your Mission/Purpose of pleasing God. We are American Christians, right? 🙂

Be Inspired Hilltop!

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    Another idea from this chapter is to lead by example. We are encouraged to mind our own business and not stick our noses in other people’s business. We are to be productive and loving. He praises the church for loving and then encourages them to love more.