Final Thoughts from Thessalonians
As we finished our sermon series on the Thessalonian correspondence, I challenged you to grade yourself upon the eight great themes found in these two letters. If you were like me, you didn’t give yourself an ‘A’ in any of the categories because you were well aware that we all could use improvement in some area of our lives. But most likely there were one or two where you know you are not where you need to be. As I spoke with many of you after the sermon, you were a little unsure where to begin. Let me give you a few suggestions (not that you have to do these specific actions, but they might stimulate your thinking).
Faith in the Gospel- Read the Gospel Primer to see how the gospel is mean to intersect every area of our lives. Take the opportunity to share the gospel story with a fellow student or co-worker this week.
Love for the Brethren- Drop by an older member’s home just to say ‘hello’.
Hope in the Parousia- Speak to your spouse or a close friend about the priorities you have in your life. Ask them to help you balance living in this world versus the next world.
Being led by the Spirit- Before you read your Bible, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. The next time you have an opportunity to apply what the Spirit taught you in that reading– do it!
Emphasis upon prayer- Set your phone/watch alarm to remind you to say a few sentence prayers once each hour until this becomes a habit.
Striving toward Holiness- Ask a friend, ‘In your opinion what do you think I am most passionate about?’ Depending upon the answer, you might need to fast from that activity. For example, if it’s being on the internet or your smart phone, take a 48 hour fast from it (You can survive, I promise). If it’s football, go a weekend without a game. It’s amazing what can happen when you disconnect for a brief period.
Enduring for the Kingdom- Make a substantial contribution to the Christian organization that know will proclaim the gospel. (You heard from several at our missions banquet on Sunday night). Trust that God will use this offering for something better than a comfort item you wanted.
Magnify Jesus- Begin by singing songs around the house that reflect the glory of Christ. Make this a daily practice. Even if it is just humming as you work through the words in your head, it will work toward keeping your mind in a state of thankfulness.
It is our duty as Christians to ‘work out our salvation’ (Phil. 2:12. We must actively be engaged in our sanctification. Otherwise, we are guilty of the sin of antinomianism (no law). But we must also be careful here. As we prayed at the end of the service, you must cultivate a love for Christ in this. Love for him must be our motivation otherwise we can be guilty of the sin of legalism. Let Christ be your all and all. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (ESV) ‘Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.’