Paul’s words to the people of Thessalonica over 1950 years ago could have been written to us! Are we living to please God? In our everyday life, is that thought paramount in our hearts and minds?
One final word, friends. We ask you—urge is more like it—that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance. You know the guidelines we laid out for you from the Master Jesus. God wants you to live a pure life. Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity.
Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God.
Don’t run roughshod over the concerns of your brothers and sisters. Their concerns are God’s concerns, and he will take care of them. We’ve warned you about this before. God hasn’t invited us into a disorderly, unkempt life but into something holy and beautiful—as beautiful on the inside as the outside.
If you disregard this advice, you’re not offending your neighbors; you’re rejecting God, who is making you a gift of his Holy Spirit. 1Thes 4:1-8 MSG*
Remember this advice over the next several weeks, when you are distracted by the pressures of Christmas and year-end events – when you are indulging in ways that may be taken to extremes. This is not a time to turn from God but a critical time to turn to him.
Regarding life together and getting along with each other, you don’t need me to tell you what to do. You’re God-taught in these matters. Just love one another! You’re already good at it; your friends all over the province of Macedonia are the evidence. Keep it up; get better and better at it. 1 Thes 4:9-10 MSG*
“We are God-taught”. Let that sink in as you contemplate your relationships with your family and friends. Sit with God and ask for His guidance for you in loving them.
Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends. 1 Thes 4:11-12 MSG*
As we schedule our activities during the next several weeks, let us keep in mind that in order to stay calm we need to seek the One who has advise for us. In the seeking, our focus will be on the things of God and will keep our minds from taking us into “business” which is not for us.
Remember . . . let us truly contemplate and celebrate Christ in this day and the days to come. We know how. We have already been “God-taught”.