The True Christian Life
Ever feel like the Christian life does not look like you thought it should? We can get caught up in a Christian culture or a worldly culture that pull us away from the true Christian life we are called to. But God’s grace meets us in that place to pull us back to who we are in Christ.
Bible Reading of the Day: 1 Thessalonians 4-5
And Paul is revealing what this calling to sanctification looks like.
Overview of Today’s Reading
Paul reminds the believers that they are called to
- To love one another
- And to fear God, not death
- To stay awake and be self-controlled
The True Christian Life—How You Should Live
1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, “Additionally then, brothers and sisters, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received instruction from us on how you should live and please God—as you are doing—do this even more. 2 For you know what commands we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
The True Christian Life—To Live in Holiness
3 For this is God’s will, your sanctification: that you keep away from sexual immorality, 4 that each of you knows how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not with lustful passions, like the Gentiles, who don’t know God. 6 This means one must not transgress against and take advantage of a brother or sister in this manner, because the Lord is an avenger of all these offenses, as we also previously told and warned you. 7 For God has not called us to impurity but to live in holiness. 8 Consequently, anyone who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
The True Christian Life—To Hear and Do God’s Will
9 About brotherly love: You don’t need me to write you because you yourselves are taught by God to love one another. 10 In fact, you are doing this toward all the brothers and sisters in the entire region of Macedonia. But we encourage you, brothers and sisters, to do this even more, 11 to seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 so that you may behave properly in the presence of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone.
Did you catch all of the to do’s? These are not a checklist that we check off and move on – these are a way of life. If we live in this manner, we do not need to fear death. We will be ready when Jesus returns. And more than just being ready, we will lie effective lives and help others to be ready!
We can get caught up in thinking that this life is all about us. This life is all about glorifying God as we cooperate in the sanctification process. When we are saved, that is just the beginning, friends. We then need to live the true Christian life out in this fallen world so others, too, can be saved.
Scripture of the Day: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
“13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.”
The True Christian Life—Does Not Fear Death
Death is hard. I think we can spend most of our lives thinking it happens to others and we don’t really want to think about it. But thinking about death helps us to live worthy lives. We know we will be accountable and that our days are numbered. And Christians do not need to fear death. We need to fear God—the One Who holds our times in His hands.
Matthew 10:28 ESV, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Psalm 23:4 ESV, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Revelation 21:4 ESV, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Hebrews 2:14-15 ESV, “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”
Paul comforts the believers with the imminent return of Christ. Those who have died will be raised to life first, then those of us who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the LORD in the air. And these are my favorite words—and so we will always be with the LORD.
God is with us. Because of this we do not fear and we live out the true Christian life because he is with us.
How the church loves one another is another important part of living out the true Christian life.
2 Thessalonians 5:1-18
“About the times and the seasons: Brothers and sisters, you do not need anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 When they say, “Peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the dark, for this day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children of light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or the darkness.
6 So then, let us not sleep, like the rest, but let us stay awake and be self-controlled. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled and put on the armor of faith and love, and a helmet of the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.
12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you[a] in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to regard them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we exhort you, brothers and sisters: warn those who are idle,[b] comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 See to it that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray constantly, 18 give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
- Don’t fear death. Fear God.
- Live the true Christian life out – passionately and with joy so others can be saved.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #217: 1 Thessalonians 4-5
Scripture of the Day: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
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