Living to please - Living in relationship with Jesus through Thessalonians

Welcome to week 4 of a study from Let's Talk About Ministries "Living in relationship with Jesus" series. This 8 week study follows Paul's letters to the Thessalonians.

1 Thessalonians 4

You are in a battle, spiritual and of the flesh. It is a battle of pleasing; yourself, others and God.

It seems to me that pleasing yourself is the order of the day; self-love, self-care, self-promotion. Everywhere we are being encouraged to do it for ourselves with a me first attitude.

This is at odds with living the Christian life where we are instructed to love one another, but even that can be taken too far. In and out of Christian circles the people-pleasers balance the self-focused. So concerned with keeping others happy they often end up unhappy themselves, or find that pleasing one means upsetting another and soon no-one is happy.

We are designed to live a life that pleases but the focus has got lost. Paul commends the Thessalonians for the way they are living. Following the instructions of Christ they are living to please God and he urges them to continue doing this more and more (verse 1).

Paul gives us four ways to live a life pleasing to God:

Be sanctified
Sanctified means Holy, living set apart for God. Paul specifically focuses here on self-control and sexual immortality. The first century morals we generally low and chasitiy was regarded an unreasonable restriction. The untamed lust and lack of self-control was resulting in adultery and pre-marital sex. In this respect the first centruy sounds much like today where pleasure is a right and lust and passions are there to be satisfied.
Living to please God means learning to control your own body and honouring his commandments regarding sex and relationships.  (Tweet This)

Be holy
God has called you to live a holy life and the great news is you don't need to struggle to do it alone. God has given you his Holy Spirit. Living in you to strengthen and guide you as you face these challenges. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that you are able to be sanctified, to practice self-control and to live a pure life. Living in a way that is sexually immoral is not rejecting your pastor, the church or the rules, you are rejecting God (verse 9).

Be loving
Paul has spoken a lot through these few chapters about loving others and we have explored that in the previous studies. He acknowledges the Thessalonians love for one another but goes on to urge them to love more and more. Last week we looked at loving just one more person, today think about those already in your life. What can you do this week to show a little more love to; your spouse, child, parent, friend, neighbour. You can't love anyone too much. (Tweet the love)

Be quiet
I rarely read magazines, unless I'm in a waiting room, but this week I picked one up for the recipe pull out it contained. It was the only goodness it did contain, magazines thrive solely on our need for gossip. Filled with affairs, kiss and tells, celebrity mishaps, party blunders, the wrong shoes, friends falling out, and it went on. It seems we love being in other peoples business; reality TV shows, true life drama, soap dramas, over coffee, in the playground and even disguised as prayer. Paul says "mind your own business".  It's hard not to get dragged into the conversation and sometimes all you can do is stay quiet.

This is not a set of rules to ruin your life, God is not trying to spoil your fun and life won't be boring. In fact living a holy life is living the full and fulfilled life that Jesus came to give you. (Tweet the promise)

In living to please God you are living the calling on your life to be a witness to others. The reason Paul gives for living a God pleasing life is in verse 12 which says, "so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders". It's not so you will look good but so you will glorify God in the way you live day to day.

Pleased to share today with Purposeful Faith and Grace & Truth

2 comments:

  1. This is a true and beautiful reminder. We are called to please the Lord Jesus alone. But we struggle with pleasing others rather than pleasing the Lord.
    Thank you for sharing the Truth.
    God bless Tania

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    1. Thank you for you encouragement friend :)

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