You know when you read or hear a new word, you suddenly keep seeing or hearing that word repeatedly? It is the same with God's Word. You hear a passage or a principle and then you constantly come across it again and again. I recently had that experience with 1 Thessalonians. During one month, I heard 1 Thessalonians taught at church, Bible study, and heard a pastor on Christian radio teaching from Thessalonians.
I finally started listening to what that "still small voice" was saying to me: "You are supposed to live this way!" Paul tells the church in Thessalonica to "...live lives worthy of God who calls you into his kingdom and glory." (1 Thess. 2:12) I love 1 Thessalonians 4 and 5. These two chapters cut right to the heart of how a Christian is to live in this world and not be controlled by sin.
Sin in our life is a bit like yeast. Even in small increments, the sin we allow into our lives slowly builds until it takes over and affects more and more areas of our life. It might be a reality TV show (those are hard to resist, I know), novels, music, etc. We live in a world that floods us with media and information. As if that weren't enough, we are also influenced by what our friends, spouse, and children do and say. I feel like a one of those explorers cutting through thick, tall layers of grass and underbrush just to get a path cleared. I want to walk the path God has set before me but obstacles have to be cleared constantly and daily for that to happen.
If you want to know how we are to live as Christians, read 1 Thessalonians 4. It is clear and concise. Paul doesn't mince any words. The theme of this chapter is living a self-controlled life. Knowing that I have power from God to live a self-controlled life is revealed in 1 Thessalonians 5. This chapter has to be one of my all time favorite chapters in the Bible! Beginning in 5:12, the scripture lays out a spiritual "road map" to encourage God's people how to live life.
Staying Spiritually Sharp:
1. Develop an attitude of joyful, thankful prayer (vv.16, 17, & 18)
2. Cooperate with God's Spirit within you--do not put out the Spirit's fire-you know that still small voice inside of you! (v. 19)
3. Respect the preaching of God's Word (v.20)
4. Filter everything through God's Word (vv. 21 & 22)
Develop habits that can nourish your soul:
1. Daily prayer
2. Spiritual Friendships
3. Reading and meditating on Scriptures
4. Solitude and silence
Thank you, Dear Lord, for giving me your True Word, your Holy Spirit, and your Precious Son to help me understand who you want me to be and how you want me to live. Please help me to daily seek your will for myself and my family. Please give me wisdom and discernment to follow your path and not the world's path. I love you, Father. Amen.