Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Walking and Pleasing God - Together

In 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12, Paul continues his discussion of how to walk and please God. He begins this section by affirming their love for one another within the body of Christ, but goes on to tell them that there is more they need to do – they need to lead quiet lives, mind their own business, and work with their own hands. So that they will have a good reputation among outsiders and they will lack nothing. So that they will walk and please God.

Apparently, these believers, anticipating the return of Christ at any moment, had quit their jobs and were living frantic lives, meddling in the personal affairs of others.

We need to live quiet lives. First, by attending first to our own duties and avoiding being meddlesome in the affairs of others. We must not be busybodies! Second, by working. Too much idle time gives us room to be meddlesome in the affair of others.

Others should know us by our love for one another. And they should know us as people who live peaceful, responsible lives.

When believers display diligent work attitudes and habits and live in a loving and tranquil manner that respects others’ privacy and does not intrude or gossip, it constitutes a powerful testimony to unbelievers and makes the gospel credible . . . Believers who sacrificially love other people, exhibit tranquil lives, conscientiously focus on keeping their own lives in order, and faithfully carry out their daily responsibilities in the workplace (thus avoiding any welfare dependence)—all the while proclaiming the gospel in light of the return of Christ—are the most effective witnesses to their unsaved neighbors and loved ones. John MacArthur

Credible Christians pay attention to the way they live on a day–to–day basis. A godless world looks upon those who leech off others with askance. Non–Christians can judge us only by appearances, so our walk should fit the fashion of Christ. What kind of testimony would we have to non–Christians if they viewed us as wranglers, gossips, critics, busybodies and lazy? Grant Richison

For those of you who are following my health issues, my pain has lessened and I have not had a fever since Sunday afternoon. Lord willing, we will be able to continue with the chemotherapy on Wednesday (tomorrow).

Yesterday evening, our small group got together in Greentown. We met on a deck. Outdoors with the deer. As usual, we laughed, we cried, we studied a passage from the first chapter of James on managing trials, we prayed, we cried, we ate, and we laughed. We were able to apply by what we read in James to trials we were facing – from faulty septic systems to health issues to ministry opportunities. We loved one another, supported and encouraged one another, bore one another’s burdens.

Life is good. Life together in community is better. Of course, it is God’s design.


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