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Living it Every Day

By: Admin on August 20, 2013

We just finished a message series titled, "Living It". The idea was to take what we believe and put that faith into practice every day in every situation of our life. Our faith in Jesus must guide every aspect of our life.

Faith in Jesus is not just the first step of our relationship with him. Faith is the daily living out of what we believe and the person in whom we believe. Faith is also evidenced by our works. WHAT we do is a direct result of our faith in Jesus Christ.

Anyone can do good things. Anyone can avoid doing bad things. That is not the issue here. The issue is the impact on our world because God is working through us. God works through us based on our faith in Jesus. Our resources to truly live a life that honours God and shows love to others comes directly from Jesus, too.

The key verse is from 1 Thessalonians 5:12 - 28

Let's clarify something from the get-go: this is not the checklist to follow. That’s being religious. What Paul is talking about here is the external evidence of someone who God is changing. These actions represent the faith in Jesus and the change he is doing in our lives.

Living our faith in Jesus every day in every circumstance is characterized by these points:

1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13 - Unity with each other
We are called to hold leaders in highest regard in love.

The assumption is that the leaders is really doing their work and calling, which is to care for, protect and help those under them to grow and change.

Note the word that Paul uses is to hold them in highest regard "in love". Not grudging acquiescence because they are a leader with title and position, but really reacting with true respect and love.

1 Thessalonians 5:14: Exhort one another
The word exhort has a negative connotation, but in reality the word has a "negative" and a "positive" meaning.

The “negative exhortation” to those who WILL NOT. We are to warn those who are lazy, who aren’t caring for others, who aren’t carrying their load and responsibility in the family, for those who will not take the steps necessary to grow and develop. Not riding them, but taking the courageous step to lovingly and firmly confront (Matthew 18:15 - 19).

The “positive exhortation” is for those who truly CANNOT. Those who have reached the end of their rope or who are coming close to the edge. The truly weak and helpless. We need to be aware of those with needs, talk to people and be honest when someone asks you, “HOW ARE YOU?” We are called with the privilege of encouraging one another and giving mutual support.

1 Thessalonians 5:15: Respond to wrong with right
Paying back wrong for wrong is the way the world operates, we don’t operate that way, rather we do true, honest and loving good toward those who actively oppose us.

1 Thessalonians 5:16 - 18: Gratitude in all circumstances
This is another “full opposite” to the world around us. We're not talking about self-flagellation or self-punishment. This is an attitude of the heart that only Jesus can bring about.

We are to rejoice always: actively have joy, looking beyond the circumstances while depending on God to give us full satisfaction, peace and hope wherever we are.

Pray continually: focus on God rather than on stuff around us. The constant contact, communication and dependence on God for everything at all times.

Give thanks in ALL circumstances. We must be thankful to God which requires a recalibration of thinking to understand what is truly good and WHO is truly good. In that way we can face everything without crashing and burning in depression and pessimism.

The kicker: this is God’s will for us because of what Jesus has done. This doesn’t come from us. We don't do this because it is a “good idea” that will “inspire others”. Our lives, thoughts, words and actions change because of who Jesus is and what he has done and is doing in our lives.

1 Thessalonians 5:19 - 22: Know what is right and wrong
This is part of responding to God, depending on God, finding out what is from God. The Holy Spirit has on his job description reminding us of what Jesus has taught us and leading us to all truth. Therefore we should not dismiss, ignore or try to rationalize away what God says to us in the Bible just because we may not understand it at the time, or worse, may not like what God is saying to us

RATHER: we must “test” everything - compare what we are learning and being taught to what the Bible says, even compare Bible to Bible.

Paul goes on to say that we must hold on, grab on to and hold tightly what is truly good, according to the Bible. The idea is a desperate grab and cling, like a frightened child will cling to their parent.

“Reject” is a word that really means “Restrain yourself” (Thayer Greek Lexicon #567) One of the evidences of God’s work in our life is self-control. Evil is all around, disobeying God is natural, rebellion is in our nature. We must put a short leash on ourselves and pull it tight.

1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24: Our resource to be able to do all of this is Jesus himself. Depend on him.
We’re not alone in this. We have God himself who will give us all that we will need. The changes in our life do not formulate a Do-it-Yourself project - This is a God thing because he is the only one able to change us. God promised to do it, and he will! Has never failed on any promises.

On top of all this is that patience required because God’s time is not necessarily our time and God’s way isn’t our way. Don’t “give God a hand” because it will result in a disaster.

1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

Topics: faith, god, hope, message series

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