Jesus, I want to be like You. Show me how to reflect Your love.
Read 1 Thessalonians 4:1–12
Living to Please God
4 As for other matters, brothers and sisters, 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. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister.[b] The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.
9 Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11 and to 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, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:4 Or learn to live with your own wife; or learn to acquire a wife
- 1 Thessalonians 4:6 The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here to a believer, whether man or woman, as part of God’s family.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow do you feel about your work? Do you feel fulfilled? Is it a struggle? Do you feel able to glorify God in what you do?
Paul’s love for the Thessalonians is founded in God’s love (1:4). So far in his letter to them this deep love has given rise to profound encouragement and has overflowed into prayer (3:11). This passage shows us what a natural and practical expression of the increase of God’s love looks like (10).
Living in a way that pleases God (1) means loving others practically and through our behavior. We are taught by God to love each other (9). Paul makes it clear that this means honoring, respecting and serving each other in all of our relationships: at home, school, work, and within the Christian community (3–8,9,12).
What does this mean for our daily lives? Consider your daily routine and rhythms of life throughout the week in the light of Paul’s description of a ‘labor prompted by love’ (1:3). Do you have contentment in where God has placed you, in the context of your relationships, and in your financial status (11)? How can you be encouraged by Paul’s own example of making tents at the same time as encouraging and teaching the Thessalonians (2:9)?
‘If we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us’ (1 John 4:12). Reflect on your daily life and work in relation to these verses. Do you exemplify this love?
Jesus, make Your love complete in me.
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