The Christian’s Hope – Part 8

Last Sunday we had Gideon’s International share about their ministry for the first part of our service and then we started a new message in 1 Thessalonians titled, THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD (1 Thes. 4:1-3).

Chapter 3 showed us it is God’s desire for our faith to be strengthened and grow, right up to the time we see Jesus face-to-face (1 Thes. 3:1-13). When properly taught and taken to heart, the return of Christ motivates us to live a holy life (Titus 2:11-13; 1 John 3:2-3, etc.).

“Finally,” in verse 1 is a connecting word showing us Paul picks up on this same theme in chapter 4. God wanted the Christians there in Thessalonica (and also us today) to “abound more and more” (1 Thes. 4:1). That is, He wants us to “grow,” so we are safe from falling “from [our] firm grasp on the truth” and so we can have “confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (2 Pet. 3:17-18 NET; 1 John 2:28; 1 Cor. 10:12; 1 Thes. 3:12-4:1, etc.). The Holy Spirit begs us here (i.e. He “urge[s] and exhort[s]” us) to “walk” or live in such a way as “to please God” in a present-day sense (1 Thes. 2:11-12; 4:1; Eph. 4:1-3; Rom. 6:13; 12:1-2, etc.). Pleasing God means not only coming to faith in Christ as His child (i.e. being justified), but, after one is saved, having a growing faith that “diligently seek[s] Him” (Heb. 11:6; James 1:25, etc.). Are we seeking Him? Are we treasuring His words in our lives? Scripture shows us a seeking faith is evidenced by God’s holy sacrificial love in our lives via the fruit of the Holy Spirit (1 Thes. 1:3; 3:12; Matt. 16:24; Eph. 5:18; Gal. 5:22-23, etc.).

God calls His children, in a nutshell, “to be holy… [as He is] holy” (1 Thes. 4:1; 1 Pet. 1:14-15; Lev. 19:2; Isa. 6:3; Matt. 19:26, etc.), and He lets us know specifically “THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD” for us in every decision and circumstance of our lives (1 Thes. 4:3; 2 Tim. 3:16-17, etc.). Are you thinking about a job? God calls you to holiness in it. Are thinking about marrying someone? God also calls you to holiness in it (Rom. 12:9; Mark 8:34, etc.). The Word shows us the greatest motivating factor for living a life that pleases God today (that is to be set apart for His special use) is the “grace” by which we have been saved by (Rom. 6:11, 14; Eph. 2:8-9; 2 Tim. 2:20-22; Titus 2:11-13, etc.). Indeed, we can love Him only “because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19; Rom 5:8; John 3:16; 14:21; 1 Thes. 4:2; Gal. 2:20, etc.).

Because of time, we were only able to focus on verse 1 of chapter 4 in our message last Sunday. Lord willing, we will pick up in verse 2 this coming Sunday in our call as His children to live for Him. When God’s Word is applied in our lives, it strengthens us in the faith making us able to weather the storms of life (2 Pet. 1:5-10; 3:18; 2 Tim. 2:1-4; 1 John 1:9; Heb. 10:24-25, etc.).