Summary: We are to imitate God’s love and persevere like Jesus. We also need to realize we do not have to fear end times but instead work hard to provide for our families and to spread the Gospel. We are also to be at peace and never forget about Gods grace.

Spiritual Mile Marker for the year – number 10 “Imitate Jesus”

Summary of Series: Imitators

Thesis of series: We live in a society that seldom reflects Jesus. As Christians, we are called to be His reflection, to do His will and to keep our hearts blameless.

Sermon1: Reflect His Image! 1 Thessalonians Chapter 1: The premise of our subject today comes from 1 Thessalonians 1:6 were Paul commends the church in Thessalonica for being imitators of Jesus. They are such great role models for other Christians and churches to follow that their devotion and mirror image of Jesus was known throughout the region. It all was revealed through their faith, hope and love!

Sermon 2: Be His Image! 1 Thessalonians Chapter 2: Being an imitator of Jesus means we view things differently than the world. This means we answer questions differently about significant goals in life. We have different priorities in our life than a person who does not know Jesus. We strive not to please people but God. We have a joy that is empowered by the Holy Spirit not by temporal things. And it means we imitate Jesus by investing in the lives of others!

Sermon 3: Show His Image! 1 Thessalonians Chapter 3: To show the image of Jesus we need to do three things: 1. We show His image when we have the ability to go through trials and tribulations and not quit, not become disheartened, not be troubled but instead reveal a divine peace of mind through the whole ordeal. 2. We show the image of Jesus by investing into the lives of others. 3. We show the image of Jesus by praying for others.

Sermon 4: Live His Image! 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4: To be imitators of Jesus and to do God's will means we lead moral and holy lives. To be imitators of Jesus means we love each other. To be imitators of Jesus means we work hard and keep ourselves from drowning in debt to others.

Sermon 5: Focus on His Image 1 Thessalonians Chapter 5: We need to focus on His return, do God’s will, keep our hearts blameless and by all means build each other up and not tear each other down.

Sermon 6: Boast of His Image! 2 Thessalonians Chapter 1: Are you boasting about Jesus and His image – are others looking at you imitating Jesus and boasting about your faith, love and spiritual maturity? Paul did of the Thessalonians! Are there those in our community boasting about our perseverance as a Church or as believers? Do others see us standing up and boasting for the image and the message of Jesus?

Sermon 7: Imitate Christ not the Antichrist! 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2: The section of the letter was not to arouse fear but to calm fears and apprehension. It was to tell the people of God to be ready for Jesus return when you see these things happening in the world. Three questions arise to me out of our chapter: Who is the Man of lawlessness? What power is holding back the rise of the antichrist? How do I keep from being deceived by the Great Deceiver?

Quote for Morning Star News Letter:

One reason so many Christians have been repositioned in recent times is because the Holy Spirit is helping them get into position to catch the spiritual waves they are called to ride. There is a great wave of the Holy Spirit that is about to move across the entire earth, but it is still crucial for every individual to be in the place that they have been called.

The Holy Spirit is omnipresent, so we may think that it does not make a difference if we are in a specific location, but it can make all the difference in the world for us. The Lord Jesus appeared to more than five hundred people after His resurrection, and He instructed them to go and wait for the promise of the Father in Jerusalem. Three hundred and eighty did not wait long enough and missed the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

Hopefully those who were of the three hundred eighty received this promise later through the church, but we do not know for sure. Certainly the Lord is gracious, but as the Apostle Paul warned, we must behold both His kindness and His severity. God resists the proud, and it is the pride that caused the fall in the first place, which has us thinking we do not need to obey the Lord, but rather we can attain by our own means.

We are told in Hebrews 6:12 to be imitators of those who through “faith and patience inherit the promises.” Waiting forty days in Jerusalem did require patience, and it sifted out those who did not have it. Impatience is not a fruit of the Spirit and those who are led by their impatience will not be led by the Spirit. Three hundred and eighty did not fully obey the Lord, and they missed Him on the Day of Pentecost. Being in the right place is one of the telltale signs that we live our lives in obedience to the Lord. He told us not to call Him “Lord” if we do not do what He says. Only those who follow Him, obeying Him as Lord, will be in the right place at the right time to receive what is promised.

Impatience is a main reason why some never receive their promises. Another reason why opportunities, great movements, and visitations of the Lord are missed by so many is that their vision is clouded by the affairs of everyday life. Few are able to pull themselves away from the clamor of their lives to climb up to a place of vision where they can see with His eyes. This is why the Lord rebuked those who could perceive the signs of impending weather better than the signs of the times. The weather affected their everyday lives, and this is what they had most of their attention on. To discern the purposes of the Lord, they have to be our main focus. We must truly “seek first the kingdom” in order to see its coming.

Sermon 8: Imitate love and perseverance!

2 Thessalonians Chapter 3:1-18:

1Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.

2And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith.

3But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

4We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command.

5May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.

6In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.

7For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you,

8nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you.

9We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow.

10For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”

11We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies.

12Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat.

13And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.

14If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed.

15Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

16Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.

17I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand, which is the distinguishing mark in all my letters. This is how I write.

18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Thesis: We are to imitate God’s love and persevere like Jesus. We also need to realize we do not have to fear end times but instead work hard to provide for our families and to spread the Gospel. We are also to be at peace and never forget about Gods grace.

I. Move your hearts into Gods love.

a. Love needs to be a matter of the heart – we really need to push our hearts toward love – we need to love like God loves us.

i. Love from God is the greatest need today in this world.

1. I heard a story of a young teenage boy who committed suicide because he did not think anybody loved him. He left a note to his parents telling them how he felt so unloved that he took his life. Yet in the note he told of how he felt his dog loved him so he left instructions to his parents on how to care for his dog.

a. How tragic!

2. [Love from a Kid’s Point of View, Citation: "What Is Love—From a Kid’s Point of View," LightSinger, (accessed 3-14-02)] What is love, from a kid’s point of view?

a. "When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love."

b. "When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth."

c. "Love is when someone hurts you, and you get so mad, but you don’t yell at them because you know it would hurt their feelings."

d. "Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is okay."

e. "Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."

f. "Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well."

g. "Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."

h. "Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."

i. "You really shouldn’t say ’I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."

ii. We see and hear of people everyday embracing the counterfeit version of real love.

1. We see it promoted on TV in sitcoms, in movies, and romance novels but the love they talk about is a counterfeit love. It’s not the real thing – it’s not godly – it’s not from God but from the one who steals, kills and destroys.

iii. Jesus addressed the subject of love with many people in his time of ministry.

1. He did it with the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:25-26):

a. He invited him to be one of his disciples – all he had to do was give his money to the poor but he could not do it!

b. He could not let love touch his heart –rule his heart – he could not part with his money – he could not allow love to move in his heart to give it all away.

i. Selfishness won and love lost in this nameless man’s heart. How shallow how vacant of God.

ii. 1 John 3:18 states, “18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”

iii. Sweeting states, “The Bible is very clear on the point that if we have money enough to live well, and do not share with others in need, it is questionable whether God’s love is in us all” (Page 16).

2. He did it with the Pharisees, his disciples, the Jewish people, and even the Gentiles he came in contact with and remind them that they are to be driven, motivated by the love of God – it’s to control and rule in their hearts.

a. John 3:16-21: 16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

i. But it is sad to say few follow the way of love – instead they reject the way of love for the way of evil:

1. They choose to hate instead of love.

2. They choose to be selfish instead of selfless which is the way of love.

3. They choose to have things there way rather God’s way.

4. They choose lust rather love which is the way of being living sacrifices.

5. They choose to take from others rather than give to others which is the way of love.

3. Sweeting states, “No single factor has so limited the Christian Church down through the years as man’s inhumanity to man-sometimes outright cruelty, but far more often, sheer lovelessness” (Page 16, Love is the Greatest).

b. We need to follow Paul’s instruction of 1 Corinthians 14:1.

i. “1Follow the way of love…”

1. By the way this should be one of our goals as Christians!

a. The accomplishment of goals requires us to be determined – to be focused on them and to strive toward reaching them.

2. Sweeting notes, “The word ‘follow’ is a strenuous word. It is the same word used to describe Paul’s fierce pursuit and persecution of the early Christians prior to his conversion. This same word is used by Paul when he speaks of pressing, ‘toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus’ (Phillippians 3:14)

3. Henry Ward Beecher said, “When God wanted sponges and oysters He made them and put one on a rock and the other in the mud. When He made man he did not make him to be a sponge or an oyster; He made him with feet and hands, and head and heart, and vital blood, and a place to use them and He said to Him, “Go work!”

4. Love requires work, it requires conscious and unconscious effort and labor. It demands a 24 hour period of commitment and determination to achieve this goal each and every day.

a. The truth is in any relationship with any person their comes a point when it is hard to love them or a certain action they keep repeating – but that is when we must be determined to love any way and in spite of the circumstance of situation.

c. David Hoyme comes up and shares for 5-7 minutes giving his testimony.

T.S. – Love takes effort, it takes commitment and perseverance each and every day but this is what Jesus wants us to do and to follow after. Jesus role modeled for us what it means to persevere in love toward others and not quit of give up on the way of God.

II. Our hearts need to be determined like Jesus Christ heart was to persevere through end times, hardship and even persecution.

a. Our hearts need to be committed to persevere for Jesus no matter what.

i. Perseverance – Merriam’s Dictionary defines it a continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition : the action or condition or an instance of persevering : STEADFASTNESS

b. Idleness is not the plan of God for your life – you have to persevere with life’s surprises, its trial, with work scenarios so as to provide for your families.

i. I love the Bible because it really deals with relevant life situations: Yes, the Bible tells it like is it takes a hard stand on people who try to just "get by" and feed off others without doing a lick of work themselves.

1. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." 2 Thessalonians 3:10

a. Yes you heard it correctly --- don't work, don't eat.

i. From But they also note:

ii. Notice that it doesn't say that those who CAN NOT work should not eat. No, we should have compassion on and help out those people. But if someone can work, yet WILL NOT work, then he's left to the consequences of his actions (or inactions in this case).

2. Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. Proverbs 10:4

3. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest -- and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man. Proverbs 6:9-11

a. Quote: So get out there and work! Or find a way to survive without eating.

ii. Why work? Because we are to follow the apostle’s example and not be idle.

1. The Apostles were hard workers!

a. Paul preached and he was also a tent maker like many of the other apostles doing things to help pay the bills.

b. Most of my ministry career other than here at Christian Hills I worked another job along with pastoring.

i. There are many bi-vocational pastors!

2. So Paul tells this church and those not working --- “You don’t work you don’t eat!” by the way this is the Holy Spirit speaking through Paul – it’s biblical!

a. This is called the old Protestant Work ethic quote!

i. It’s what built this country in the beginning!

3. But I hear a new quote today from some people and it is:

a. “I don’t have to work and you all owe me!”

i. I deserve to be fed – to be cared for!

b. Illustration from contributor ashwell: In Bill Gates’ new book Business @ The Speed of Thought, he lays out 11 rules that students do not learn in high school or college, but should. He argues that our feel-good, politically correct teachings have created a generation of kids with no concept of reality who are set up for failure in the real world.

i. RULE 1 - Life is not fair; get used to it.

ii. RULE 2 - The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

iii. RULE 3 - You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone, until you earn both a high school and college degree.

iv. RULE 4 - If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn’t have tenure.

v. RULE 5- Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping, they called it opportunity.

vi. RULE 6 - If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

vii. RULE 7 - Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills; cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents’ generation, try "delousing"the clothes in your own room.

viii. RULE 8 - Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades; they will let you try as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

ix. RULE 9 - Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

x. RULE 10 - Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop to go to their jobs.

xi. RULE 11 - Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

iii. But the Bible is clear about a work ethic - don't associate with the idle ones or those who reject this truth they are not enemies but don't feed them if they are able to work and warn them if they are just sitting around doing nothing.

1. If you don't work you don't eat.

2. We need to take responsibility and pay for the food we eat.

3. We need to pay our bills!

a. We are required by the Bible to warn those who are not working and who keep looking for handouts so they will feel ashamed and go to work.

i. The other problem I see with people who are idle is they seem to become busybodies.

1. Involved in every ones business!

iv. Article: From

v. Question: "What does the Bible say about work?"

Answer: “No one should ever work. Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you'd care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.” These words comprise the beginning of an essay penned by Bob Black in 1985 entitled, “The Abolition of Work.” In a leisure-loving culture, many would whole-heartedly echo Black’s sentiment. Americans spend approximately 50% of their waking hours devoted to work. Is work a curse, or is it something that humans were uniquely designed to do? In stark contrast to the assertions of Bob Black, the significance and beneficial nature of work is a resounding theme in the Bible.

The origin of work is depicted in the book of Genesis. In the opening passage, God is the primary worker, busy with the creation of the world (Genesis 1:1-15). The Bible states that God worked for six days and rested on the seventh day. These passages reveal that God was the first to do work on the earth. Therefore, legitimate work reflects the activity of God. Because God is inherently good, work is also inherently good (Psalm 25:8; Ephesians 4:28). Furthermore, Genesis 1:31 declares that when God viewed the fruit of His labor, He called it “very good.” God examined and assessed the quality of His work, and when He determined that He had done a good job, He took pleasure in the outcome. By this example, it is apparent that work should be productive. Work should be conducted in a way that produces the highest quality outcome. The reward for work is the honor and satisfaction that comes from a job well done.

Psalm 19 says that God reveals Himself to the world by His work. Through natural revelation, God’s existence is made known to every person on earth. Thus, work reveals something about the one doing the work. It exposes underlying character, motivations, skills, abilities, and personality traits. Jesus echoed this principle in Matthew 7: 15-20 when He declared that bad trees produce only bad fruit and good trees only good fruit. Isaiah 43:7 indicates that God created man for His own glory. In 1 Corinthians 10:31 we read that whatever we do should be to His glory. The term “glorify” means to give an accurate representation. Therefore, work done by Christians should give the world an accurate picture of God in righteousness, faithfulness, and excellence.

God created man in His image with characteristics like Him. (Genesis1:26-31). He created man to work with Him in the world. God planted a garden and put Adam in it to cultivate and maintain it (Genesis 2:8, 15). Additionally, Adam and Eve were to subdue and rule over the earth. What does this original work mandate mean? To cultivate means to foster growth and to improve. To maintain means to preserve from failure or decline. To subdue means to exercise control and discipline. Rule over means to administer, take responsibility for, and make decisions. This mandate applies to all vocations. The 15th-century Reformation leaders saw an occupation as a ministry before God. Therefore, when viewed as a ministry before God, jobs should be acknowledged as ministries, and workplaces should be considered as mission fields.

The Fall of Man depicted in Genesis 3 generated a change in the nature of work. In response to Adam’s sin, God pronounced several judgments in Genesis 3:17-19, the most severe of which is death. However, labor and the results of labor figure centrally in the rest of the judgments. God cursed the ground. Work became difficult. The word “toil” is used, implying challenge, difficulty, exhaustion, and struggle. Work itself was still good, but man must expect that it will be accomplished by “the sweat of his brow.” Also, the result will not always be positive. Although man will eat the plants of the field, the field will also produce thorns and thistles. Hard work and effort will not always be rewarded in the way the laborer expects or desires.

It is also noted that man would be eating from the produce of the field, not the garden. A garden is symbolic of an earthly paradise made by God as a safe enclosure. Gardens also symbolize purity and innocence. The earth or field, on the other hand, represents an unbounded, unprotected space and an emphasis on loss of inhibition and worldliness. Therefore, the work environment can be hostile, especially to Christians (Genesis 39:1-23; Exodus 1:8-22; Nehemiah 4).

It is said that man has three basic needs in life: love, purpose and significance. Many times, humans attempt to find purpose and significance in work itself. In Ecclesiastes 2:4-11, Solomon details his search for meaning in a variety of projects and works of all kinds. Even though the work brought some degree of satisfaction in accomplishment, his conclusion was: “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”

Other critical biblical principles regarding work are:

• Work is done not only to benefit the worker, but also for others (Exodus 23:10-11; Deuteronomy 15:7-11; Ephesians 4:28).

• Work is a gift from God and, for His people, will be blessed (Psalm 104:1-35, 127:1-5; Ecclesiastes 3:12-13, 5:18-20; Proverbs 14:23).

• God equips His people for their work (Exodus 31:2-11).

There has been much debate throughout 2009 and 2010 about societal responsibilities and obligations toward the unemployed, uninsured, and uneducated in our society. While many of those affected by economic downturns truly desire to work and can’t find employment, there are a number of U.S. citizens who have become generational welfare recipients, preferring to remain on the government dole. It is interesting to note that the biblical welfare system was a system of work (Leviticus 19:10, 23:22). The Bible is harsh in its condemnation of laziness (Proverbs 18:9). Paul makes the Christian work ethic abundantly clear: “If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially those of his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:28).

In addition, Paul’s instruction to another church regarding those who preferred not to work was to “keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.” And he goes on to say, “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘If a man will not work, he shall not eat.’" Instead, Paul instructs those who had been idle: “Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:12).

Although God’s original design for work was perverted by sin, God will one day restore work without the burdens that sin introduced (Isaiah 65:17-25; Revelation 15:1-4, 22:1-11.) Until the day when the New Heavens and New Earth are set in place, the Christian attitude toward work should mirror that of Jesus: “My food, said Jesus, is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work” (John 4:34). Work is of no value except when God is in it.© Copyright 2002-2012 Got Questions Ministries.

vi. We are to be working for the spread of the Kingdom of God not sitting idle as well.

1. We work a secular job but we also are to be working for the Lord and be involved in the spreading of the Great Commission.You need to work for the Kingdom of God as well as work for money!

T.S. – We need to persevere in this life and never quit, never give up, we must work to the end in our lives, work at our jobs as if they are missions fields and work for God every day as we work in the secular work place all this faithfulness will be rewarded to us in Heaven as we stay faithful to God. When we are doing what God wants us to do then we have peace – God’s peace through Jesus Christ.

III. We are also to be at peace and never forget about Gods grace.

a. This points us back to love!

i. Receive His peace in these end time and hard times and never tire of doing what is right.

b. Article on - Question: What is biblical peace?

i. Answer: It was prophesied that Jesus would be "the Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9: 6). True peace emanates from God to the point that God is said to be "the God of peace" (Rom. 15: 33). The peace of God is such that it "passeth all understanding" (Phili. 4: 7). God's peace is able to "keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

ii. Peace is peculiarly identified with Jesus. Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14: 27). The instrument of peace was, "Preaching peace by Jesus Christ" (Acts 10: 36). Even plainer is Paul's statement to the Romans, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom. 5: 1).

iii. Peace is internal and involves man's participation. The early Christians were able to enjoy peace amid turmoil because peace is internal and does not depend on the external circumstances (Paul extended peace while in prison, Eph. 1: 2, 4: 1). Peace is obtained through the gospel; hence, we read, "And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace" (Eph. 6: 15). Peace is in knowing that sin is forgiven and that all is well with our soul (Acts 2: 38, 1 John 1: 7). Hence, division can prevail, but inwardly there can be peace (cp. Matt. 10: 34-39). However, peace does not come without effort. The scriptures admonish the Christian thus, "Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace" (Rom. 14: 19).

iv. It is tragic that even though peace is available through Christ, "And the way of peace have they not known" (Rom. 3: 17). There is also a false peace that deceives some (1 Thes. 5: 3). Biblical peace involves and is a product of being spiritually minded. "For to be carnally minded is death," Paul wrote, "but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Rom. 8: 6). From

c. Paul says this in light of what he has addressed in this letter, scary stuff that the Christian need not be in fear of.

d. Illustration from contributor mark hosley from Duke University did a study on “peace of mind.” Factors found to contribute greatly to emotional and mental stability are:

i. The absence of suspicion and resentment. Nursing a grudge was a major factor in unhappiness.

ii. Not living in the past. An unwholesome preoccupation with old mistakes and failures leads to depression.

iii. Not wasting time and energy fighting conditions you cannot change. Cooperate with life, instead of trying to run away from it.

iv. Force yourself to stay involved with the living world. Resist the temptation to withdraw and become reclusive during periods of emotional stress.

v. Refuse to indulge in self-pity when life hands you a raw deal. Accept the fact that nobody gets through life without some sorrow and misfortune.

vi. Cultivate the old-fashioned virtues—love, humor, compassion and loyalty

vii. Do not expect too much of yourself. When there is too wide a gap between self-expectation and your ability to meet the goals you have set, feelings of inadequacy are inevitable.

viii. Find something bigger than yourself to believe in. Self-centered egotistical people score lowest in any test for measuring happiness. Source unknown

e. And Paul reminds them and us to not forget about His grace.


As we wrap up Thessalonians we are told to:

Love like God.

To persevere like Jesus did and Paul did.

To work hard in our lives so as to honor God.

To follow – mimic the apostles examples.

To be at peace even in hard times, the end times or the scary times of life.

To never forget about God’s grace.

Final thought on the series:

Thesis of series: We live in a society that seldom reflects Jesus. As Christians, we are called to be His reflection, to do His will and to keep our hearts blameless. We need to imitate Jesus and persevere every day and we need to imitate God and His love to the broken people in this world!

I listened this week to a song – Live as if you were dying!

Play the song! Listen to the words of this song:

He said: "I was in my early forties,

"With a lot of life before me,

"An' a moment came that stopped me on a dime.

"I spent most of the next days,

"Looking at the x-rays,

"An' talking 'bout the options an' talkin’ ‘bout sweet time."

I asked him when it sank in,

That this might really be the real end?

How’s it hit you when you get that kind of news?

Man whatcha do?

An' he said: "I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,

"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.

"And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,

"And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying."

An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,

"To live like you were dyin'."

He said "I was finally the husband,

"That most the time I wasn’t.

"An' I became a friend a friend would like to have.

"And all of a sudden goin' fishin’,

"Wasn’t such an imposition,

"And I went three times that year I lost my Dad.

"Well, I finally read the Good Book,

"And I took a good long hard look,

"At what I'd do if I could do it all again,

"And then:

"I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,

"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.

"And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,

"And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying."

An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,

"To live like you were dyin'."

Like tomorrow was a gift,

And you got eternity,

To think about what you’d do with it.

An' what did you do with it?

An' what can I do with it?

An' what would I do with it?

"Sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,

"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.

"And then I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,

"And I watched Blue Eagle as it was flyin'."

An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,

"To live like you were dyin'."

"To live like you were dyin'."

"To live like you were dyin'."

"To live like you were dyin'."

"To live like you were dyin'."

The following info from

"Live Like You Were Dying" tells the story of a man in his early forties who gets the news that his father has an unspecified, life threatening illness. His father's message is to live life to the fullest and do things that he had always wanted to do, such as skydiving, mountain climbing, fishing, and bull riding. He also says that he became a better husband and friend. McGraw then switches perspective to himself, talking about how going fishing with his dad stopped being an imposition and how he finally, after reading the Bible, took a long hard look back over his life and took his father's advice by going skydiving, mountain climbing, and bull riding.

This song is associated with McGraw's father, Tug McGraw, who was hospitalized with a brain tumor on March 12, 2003. It was revealed that he had cancer. He was given three weeks to live by the doctors, but survived nine months. He died on January 5, 2004.[1]

Illustration from sermon - A parable is told of a community of ducks waddling off to duck church one Sunday to hear their duck preacher. After they waddled into the duck sanctuary, the service began and the duck preacher spoke eloquently of how God had given the ducks wings with which to fly.

He pounded the pulpit with his beak and said,

With these wings, there is nowhere we ducks can not go!

There is no God-given task we ducks cannot accomplish!

With these wings we no longer need walk through life.

We can soar high in the sky!

Shouts of Amen!¨ were quacked throughout the duck congregation.

The duck preacher concluded his message by exclaiming,

With our wings we can fly through life!

WE......CAN.....FLY!!!!¨ More ducks quacked out loud AMENS! in response.

Every duck loved the service.

In fact all the ducks that were present commented on what a wonderfully convicting message they had heard from their duck preacher....

and then they left the church and waddled all the way home.


Too often We waddle away from worship

the same way we waddled in....