Doing God's Will
Sermon shared by Brian Bill
Summary: It’s one thing to know God’s will; it’s another to do it. God wants us to be pure, to love others, and He longs to have our lives attract others to the life-changing message of the gospel.
Series: Don’t Be Left Behind
Audience: General adults
Be Honest By Lighting the Outsider
Be holy by living in purity. Be harmonious by loving one another. The final theme of this passage is to be honest by lighting the outsider. Look at verses 11-12: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” Our ultimate ambition, the driving force of our life, should be to shine the light of the gospel on those who are still on the “outside.” This is yet another motivation for practicing purity. You and I should not do anything sexually that would harm our brother or sister in Christ, and we must make sure we don’t push lost people away by our immoral behavior.
To live a quiet life is the answer to the problem of restlessness. The word “quiet” speaks of the end of conflict, of peace after warfare. Be ambitious, Paul says, to live quietly. We need these words because our ambition tends to be noisy, to make a splash, a name, to get ahead, to rise above the crowd. Eugene Peterson translates this phrase with two words: “Stay calm.”
To mind our own business is the answer to the problem of being meddlesome. Almost no one appreciates a busybody. Let me share three signs that you have crossed the line of genuine concern and have started meddling:
You base your happiness on what others do or say.
You repeat your advice over and over hoping to convince someone.
You judge others on whether or not they do what you say.
There are two things wrong with this:
First, busybodies violate the principle of individual liberty given to every Christian. Each of us will stand individually before God someday. Since you’re not God, don’t try to play God for someone else.
Second, busybodies spend so much time worrying about others they neglect their own lives. You end up losing all sense of values. You strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. You become at expert at seeing the grain of dust in your brother’s eye while ignoring the log in your own eye.
The best way to light the path for non-Christians is by working honestly and leading a quiet life of impeccable integrity. We should attend to our own business as we avoid gossip and backbiting. People will see Jesus in you through the influence of the day-to-day grind of life because your workplace habits speak volumes. You can make Christ look beautiful by the way you do your job. The greatest witness you will ever have is the life that you lead.
Do you want to know how to lead a life that pleases God?
Set yourself apart from sexual immorality.
Love your brothers and sisters in Christ.
And work hard and honestly so that lost people can see your good works and glorify God in heaven.
Sadly, too many of us are living anxious, guilt-ridden lives, with no sense of vision for what God wants us to do. Some of you are probably thinking that it is too late for you. Maybe you’ve been hoping a trap door would open up and swallow me in the middle of the sermon because you don’t want to hear any more. You’ve lusted too much, you haven’t loved enough, and you could care less about the lost.
Listen carefully. The glory of the gospel is that we can always have a fresh start, a new beginning. All of us have messed
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