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Living it by Sharing it

By: Admin on July 23, 2013

A follower of Jesus doesn’t just “know and do” to check off the list and feel good about themselves. Jesus didn't come to give us the checklist of good things to do and bad things to avoid. Jesus paid a steep price to bring us into a relationship with God and give us a new life to live. This life is meant to be shared and lived with others so they, too, can experience the changes that only Jesus brings.

The Vision of Waverley Church is found in this verse from the Bible: "He has shown you, O people, what is good and what the Lord requires of you: to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God." Micah 6:8

This is putting our faith into action and being real followers of Jesus Christ. We are not the fountain of “Jesus information” to the masses. We are a living, active community and family of people who are having their lives transformed by the power and truth of Jesus. We, in turn, introduce others to this same Jesus and help them become part of this incredible family of God. We do this by sharing our lives. So, what does a life shared look like?

Today we'll look at the New Testament book of the Bible called 1 Thessalonians. We're looking at the first 12 verses of chapter 2 of this letter that Paul wrote to the Christians in the Macedonian Greek city of Thessalonica. He was talking to them about truly living the Jesus life by sharing one's own life.

1. A Life of Courage (vv. 1, 2)
You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. 2 We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition.

Paul and his teammates had suffered in Philippi, therefore they depended on God for his help (Acts 16). God did come through, but Paul and his team had to suffer in the meantime. In spite of all this they continuously proclaimed message of Jesus (the Gospel) in the face of opposition.

Don’t just assume some opposition to your Christian life and message, expect it. But let the message and your Jesus-led lifestyle be the reason for the opposition, not because you are obnoxious.

2. A Life of Integrity (vv. 3 - 7a)
3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 4 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. 6 We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. 7 Instead, we were like young children among you.

Obviously had been some accusations, so Paul sought not to justify himself but to clear things up and tell the whole story. He told them that he taught and preached not from error or impure motives, but rather as representatives of God, like ambassadors. They were approved by God - sent by and given the credentials by God.

They also realized they had been entrusted with the gospel and given full responsibility for its use and proclamation.

On top of it all, they were not trying to impress or please people but rather God because God truly knows hearts and motives.

We cannot “convince” anyone to believe in the Bible. We cannot argue someone into Heaven. We cannot win the definitive debate to bring someone to faith in Jesus. It doesn't work. Paul was one of the best debaters we have seen for Christ. Yet he and his team were constantly harassed, badgered and mistreated? Even Jesus never accomplished winning a debate in his time on the earth.

That’s not the point. The point is to share our lives with people. We need to live lives that are open, honest and genuine. True integrity in our lives that will take us to the point of even being accused of doing wrong, but in the end all accusations will be proven false.

3. A Life of Giving (vv. 7b - 12)
Just as a nursing mother cares for her children 8 so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 9 Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. 11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

Giving our lives means not giving leftovers or extras. We are to give like a mother gives to her children with an attitude of caring and nurturing. Paul and his companions shared not only the gospel of God, the message of Jesus, but Paul and his team also shared their very lives as well.

It meant genuine care and concern with sacrificial, authentic giving that results in joy for the giver and a true, visible benefit for the receiver.

CHALLENGE for each of us: Give of yourself just as Christ gave Himself completely for us.

Topics: community, giving, message series

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