1 Thessalonians 4:1-3a
“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. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is God’s will that you should be sanctified….”
1 Thessalonians was written 2000 years ago by the apostle Paul as a letter to the church in the ancient, influential city of Thessalonica. As he begins to wrap up his letter, he reminds them of the important instructions he gave them. Instructions on how to live to please God, instructions that should be followed more and more fervently. And instructions to be “sanctified,” which is holy living according to God’s will. And as we read today, we are challenged to follow the Lord’s instructions. For these instructions are never wrong and will never let you down!
1. Why do you think some men (and women and children) so slow to ask for directions and instruction? Why should we ask for directions? What kind of person should we ask? How important is it to have a reliable person instructing you?
2. In verse one, Paul instructs them how to love in order to please God. Name some ways you think we can please God today? (Hint: Heb.11:6, Rom. 8:8, Psalm 147:11, 1 Sam. 15:22, Heb. 13:21, Heb. 13:15).
3. Finally, in verse 3, Paul instructs that it is God’s will for them (and us) to be sanctified. Sanctification is the process of holy living – becoming more like Jesus Christ in our thoughts, attitudes, and actions. What do you think YOU can do to be more like Jesus in your daily life?
1. Follow God’s Instructions – They are True! Other how-to manuals may give you the wrong directions or let you down. But God’s word is true, unfailing, and reliable. You can rest upon God’s word. Like the old song says, “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it!”
2. Follow God’s Instructions – With Jesus as the Example. Use the example of Jesus as your standard. After all, God the Father said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased!” (Matt. 3:17)
3. Follow God’s Instructions – And Please Him! Not only does hearing and heeding the Lord’s instructions help you, but it also pleases Him. And who wouldn’t want to bless the Lord after all He has done for us? (Psalm 103:1-3).
Lord, I thank you for all you've done for me. I just pray that you would change me, oh God. Please guide my heart and help me to grow into the person you want me to be. Rather than me following my own ways, please purify my heart and make me more like you. Please guide my path and help me take steps that will guide me toward your plan for my life and not my own whims. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.