Summary: This is an exposition of 1 Thessalonians 2.
The moment is now. Decision time. Will you obey God?
That is the choice that we face on a daily basis.
Will I obey Gods word today, or will I go about life on my own? We should be asking ourselves that question every single morning when we roll out of bed.
Obedience starts with the understanding that Gods Word is just that...THE WORD OF GOD. I came to that decision years ago, if you’re not there yet...it’s ok, we love having you here...but it’s my prayer that you will first make a choice to accept Him into your heart as your Lord and Savior and accept His word.
That’s a choice that leads to eternity in heaven with Him! It’s not about all the good things you have done, it’s about a personal relationship.
The choice is yours.
Choices riddle the landscape of our lives don’t they?
We’re faced with them at home, at work and in the personal space of our minds and hearts.
Great leaders will tell you that the ability to make good choices in your life comes from experience, but experience often comes from a wealth of bad choicesƒº
Obedience to God is not made by indecision, that’s always a bad choice!
Many of the bad choices I have made in my life can be traced back to a single decision...this is the most crucial moment. This is where we need God involved in the process of leading us.
This is where we need obedience to God and His will for our lives.
With all of the choices God leaves, we still have to make the right one!
The reality of irreversible lung cancer in the life of the chain smoker can be traced back, in essence, to the decision to have ONE more single cigarette.
The reality of the individual in prison for a crime they committed can be traced back to one final decision...commit the crime or do what’s right.
It’s often our ability to make the small, God honoring decisions in our lives that determine how we will make the bigger ones.
Once The Apostle Paul gave his life to Jesus Christ, he was a model of God centered decision making.
We see his obsession with honoring God with his choices in life filter into the church in Thessalonica.
This was a new church that should have fallen apart...instead they became a church that was a model for all churches. As you remember, Paul had to leave these people behind too quickly because of persecution.
Paul wrote a letter to this church, to explain why it is so important to honor God with every decision in our lives. He wanted to give them the advice he didn’t have time to give them the first time around...this is the letter to that church.
We pick our study up this week with the second chapter of Paul’s letter to the church in Thessalonica.
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Verse 2...Paul suffered greatly for the gospel. (explain gospel) He was beaten and thrown in prison. His life was constantly threatened by the Jewish leaders of the day.
We see something very important here in verses 2-3...Paul never made demands on anyone that he was not willing to impose on himself!
Now this tells me something...be a true example, don’t preach one thing in your life, or profess God’s word for the standard of your living and do the opposite, this is detrimental! This is hypocrisy of the worst kind.
Ghandi was once asked if he would think about converting to Christianity and he said, "I like your Christ, but not your Christians. Your Christians are not like your Christ".
These Thessalonicans could smell hypocrisy a mile away, Paul was genuine! I think that attracted them. They saw hypocrisy in the Jewish leaders. Paul was real! Paul preached of a God who could transform lives...mighty to save and able to cleanse, regenerate and fill people with the Holy Spirit. Paul was sincere! Paul was BOLD about his faith!
It takes a bold person to stand up for the gospel, the Word of God!
We take our fair share of shots from people outside of this church that think we ’water down’ the scripture. They have obviously never been here before. We may change our approach through the years, we change our approach when culture changes...but we must never change or add to the word of God just to fit our needs as a church or as Christ followers.
Yes, we have guitars and drums here, yes we use multi media and advertising as a tool to reach this world for Christ. I have to be honest with you, I feel good about standing before Jesus Christ one day knowing that I did everything short of sin to bring people into a relationship with Him!!!!"