DO AS YOU PLEASE?
Lord God, thank you for your Word; speak to me through it in some specific way today. Help me to respond in a way that pleases you.
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.
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.
ReflectThink of something you’ve done that was really hard work, or that took a long time. What kept you going? Was it worth it in the end?
I am a useless long-distance runner. I can manage an occasional sprint, but that’s it. However, I love walking, particularly up mountains. I have a theory that the best views are only accessible by foot. Most translations use ‘live’ in verse 1, but the word Paul used is ‘walk.’ The Christian life is not a sprint. It is not even a marathon. It is a long, steady walk into holiness (v. 7). That may be why it’s easy to be distracted, especially by the bright lights and seductive temptations of sexual immorality (vv. 3–6). Then (and now), Paul’s teaching on sexuality was counter-cultural: he wrote that God’s people must not indulge their desires and let them rule over them, but learn self-control and holiness instead (vv. 4, 5).
The Christian walk is not complicated, but it’s hard. From controlling our passions to learning to love one another, it takes daily effort— which is why Paul wrote, ‘do so more and more’ (v. 10). It’s hard work, but the view will be worth it.
Do you assess your behavior, speech, thoughts, and feelings to help you live to please God (v. 1)? Including when it comes to sex? Ask God to show you what you need to do or avoid to help you grow in holiness.
Father, I ask that how I live for you is consistent with what your Word says my faith walk should be. Help me to live in ways that glorify you and testify to your love for the world.
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