The Quiet Life

The Quiet Life

11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

In a world when everyone is getting in everyone else’s face on social media over one cause or another, these verses give us a fresh perspective on how we are to live our lives.

Does it mean we can’t disagree and argue cultural, political, or societal points? No.
Does it mean we can’t become indignant about social injustices occurring here and around the world? No, of course not.

Leading a quiet life. Minding our own business. Working with our hands. All three pointing back to an earlier verse, “We instructed you how to live in order to please God.”

In order to please God.

Relax. Take a deep breath. You’re not going to solve the world’s problems especially if you aren’t focused on one or two.

Figure out how to lead that quiet life, minding your own business, working with your hands. What things would you need to fling from you to lead a quiet life? Paul even instructs us to make it our ambition to do those things. Not a bad way to live really. These are two more verses that we should really have in our internal hard drive through memorization.

May God bless you and keep you as you make it your ambition to lead a quiet life.

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Set Apart for His Glory

Set Apart for His Glory

3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

God’s desire for us – as it was for the church in Thessalonika was for us to be set apart. Sexual sins were so pervasive in Greek culture that they didn’t think anything of “sleeping around” or fornicating. This teaching was very new to them and probably very shocking.

“Who was this man, someone who wasn’t even married, to tell us who we should or shouldn’t sleep with?

Two thousand years have passed and sexual sin is even more pervasive because of instant communication, pornography, and a massive international sex trade.

Right now we can’t deal with the major sins facing our world, so we start at home. Paul implores the believers to set themselves apart, to abstain from sexual sin.

God is telling us the exact same thing. In fact, Paul tells us elsewhere to flee from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18). Don’t even entertain thoughts about it. Get out of there, fast.

God wants us to have pure and holy lives. He wants us to think about and meditate on good and right things.

As I’ve been discussing the past few days, take this opportunity to fill your mind with the Word of God so that when temptations arise, more of the Word of God is hidden in our hearts, and the Holy Spirit can use it for His glory. If this is sin you struggle with, this would be a perfect passage to hide in your heart. Read it over and over again, write it down, repeat it another 20 or thirty times. Get it into your head and before you know it, it will be hidden in your heart.

God is more powerful than these sins, and the Holy Spirit also wants us to lead a holy life.

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So Begins The Road Map Verses

So Begins The Road Map Verses

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2

Many teachers tell us that the Bible is a Road Map for Life. This chapter is a great example of what they mean by it, for in it is God’s will now, how to love one another, and hope for the future regarding the Second Coming of Christ.

Read and study its words well, Paul was urging us. Hide these words in your heart for they contain life-giving and life-sustaining truth. This may very well be the first chapter to memorize as you join with me in memorizing Scripture.

The prayer from the previous chapter combined with these words could help us over the next 10 weeks. At the very least, we should probably read this through several times.

Pray through them.

Give them over to God.

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Back to the Basics of Bible Memorization

Back to the Basics of Bible Memorization

11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. 12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. Thessalonians 3:11-13

We discussed this passage briefly yesterday but wanted to add something.

Take a look at this prayer of Paul’s. Starting with verse 12, this could easily be prayed over someone you know in their presence.

Any time we can commit these words of God to memory is more power we’ll have in our daily life.

Have you ever had an earworm? You know, the song you heard a month ago but one line of the chorus is now stuck in your head and has been for the past three hours? Depending on what music you listen to and for how long, a phrase or two can get lodged in there for a long time. When I start memorizing my part for a barbershop song, two or three days later, one little phrase will just get stuck and won’t go away. The thing is, it may not even be the right notes or the right words, but because I’ve heard it over and over again, it’s stuck in my head – again, only a phrase, usually nothing more.

What if – what if – we had that kind of attitude towards the Word of God? What if we had a verse just stuck there in our minds and can’t let it go? How would it change your life?

To those who say they can’t memorize, I want to challenge that thought.
Start with smaller chunks of text. Start, for instance, with verses 12 and 13 above.
If it took you a full week to memorize these two verse, do you think you could do it then? Ok, so you won’t break the Guinness Book of World Records for Bible Memorization Speed, so what? Does it matter?

Two verses in your mind and eventually in your heart is life changing. Do that once a week with one or two different verses.

Do you think God can use 50-100 verses memorized to and for His glory?

But it starts off with one or two verses. That’s it.

Don’t try to cram so much in at once, especially if you haven’t done it in a while. If you need me to help you with it or hold you accountable, let me know.

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7 Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. 8 For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. 9 How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? 10 Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. 1

11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. 12 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. 13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. Thessalonians 2:7-13

So, the church is standing firm but they are lacking something in their faith. What could that be?

I think a key is in verse 11: LOVE.

We, of course, know what love is and we often practice it. There are times, though, however, that fellow believers test our limits. It would be dishonest of me to say that I go from one loving situation to another without any dislike and sometimes hatred in between. People annoy us. They have different ideas about life, politics, family, friends, relationships, and jobs. Fortunately, no two of us are alike. We don’t even agree with our spouses 100% of the time. If we don’t agree 100% of the time with the ones we love the most, just think of what others who have very different philosophies will do to us.

But, we must still love them. Sometimes, only God can help us love other people, because we can’t do it on our own. I doubt I’m alone in this regard. In fact, I know I’m not alone.

Perhaps, that’s the key to begin with. God knows how difficult that person is. He also knows how difficult we are. So, there might even be a chance that person is praying about you too.

We hear love being preached from the pulpit often, and there’s a reason for it: it’s difficult because we’re all so very different.

Only God can give us what we need to love people.

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