2016-07-24 - 2 Thessalonians Study
Letters to a Young Church ~ Walking in Love
If we are imitators of God, if we truly want to walk in love as He did, then we not only want to please God, but as He did we will put the needs of others ahead of our own, i.e. while we have been wronged, we have been abused, our response should still be Christ's;
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ for- gave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
The basis of all our relationships should not be what are we to get out of it, but what would be honoring to God. It is through prayer and the leading of the Holy Spirit, that we can get the answer to this often difficult question. All of our actions in dealing with men, both believers and unbelievers must be dictated by what does God want in this situation, not by what is “fair." We are not called to defend ourselves, but live in the joy of the favor of the Lord, who has saved us for His purposes. This is what it means to live to please God not men, even ourselves. We live to make God real to men.
“… Just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved” (1 Corinthians 10:33).
The great joy of being a believer, is that we have the opportunity to eternally affect people. Because we desire to please God, because we want to see others as He does, we can have a whole different focus on what is important in life. We don't have to be obsessed by success, getting ahead, “winning by intimidation.” Instead, our goal is to live in a way that pleases God and leads others to a saving knowledge of Christ. Our focus is eternal. What a joy! What a blessing!
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. … For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15, 20-21).
To be continued.
All verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.