Summary: What impresses Christians is not necessary what impresses lost people; but both groups are impressed by genuineness.

Inside Outside

(I Thessalonians 4:9-12)

1. Sometimes it is difficult to impress people.

2. During a visit to the mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director what the criterion was which defined whether or not a patient should be institutionalized.

"Well," said the Director, "we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub."

"Oh, I understand," said the visitor. "A normal person would use the bucket because it’s bigger than the spoon or the teacup."

"No." said the Director, "A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?"

3. How can we impress others for the Lord in a positive way?

Main Idea: What impresses Christians is not necessary what impresses lost people; but both groups are impressed by genuineness.

I. Love the INSIDERS (9-10)

Love impresses everyone, especially fellow Christians and seekers.

A. We can CELEBRATE the love we have (9-10a)

1. Max Axelrod wrote, “Recently, the Associated Press conducted a survey of 39 different Protestant denominations. And they asked one question: "What is the number one factor that causes congregations to grow?" Are there any factors you can find in every growing church regardless of doctrine, denomination, location, culture, etc?

Well, it wasn’t the preaching. It wasn’t the presence of a children’s ministry. And it wasn’t air conditioning. On the basis of the survey, they discovered that the number one characteristic of a growing church was the atmosphere of love among the membership. The Press concluded that people everywhere are looking for love.”

2. One way to show love is simply to work at including newcomers and visitors. They are the new kid on the block -- it is up to you to introduce yourselves to them. Include them in a conversation, invite them to an event, or explain a ministry or event to them. Find out where they have come from and what is happening in their lives. Smile, extend a handshake, and take initiative….and compliment others when you see them reaching out…

B. We can AIM to grow in love (10b)

John 13:35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

Floyd Barackman comments that love, "manifests itself by our desire and effort to minister to the well-being of others, even at personal cost."

Paul spoke of the Thessalonian believers as follows: " And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more."

How did they show love to these other believers? Probably by sending needed funds for their relief and support of missionaries.

What impresses Christians is not necessary what impresses lost people; but both groups are impressed by genuineness.

II. Win the Respect of OUTSIDERS (11-12)

Some of the Thessalonians were avoiding working and were wasting their time being busy-bodies. Paul addresses this problem in greater detail in 2 Thessalonians, so I would like us to experience Paul’s handling of the situation in sequence. We have here a lighter correction and a few hints that did not fix the situation; in 2 Thess., Paul kicks it up a notch

Although love will impress a hardened sinner, many lost people need to first respect you before they will consider the Gospel. Unfortunately, evangelical Christians have a great respect deficit for many reasons; we can overcome our bad image by personal integrity.

A. QUIET living (11a)

Quiet has the thought of peace, calm, rest and satisfaction.

Although volume may be part of what this word means, it really is the opposite of being loud in spirit/ego.

"With that admirable ability to express himself paradoxically

which again and again becomes evident in his epistles, Paul admonishes the

Thessalonians to become all stirred up about being quiet (living calmly)! Let the

restless one be ambitious about attaining this goal." William Hendriksen


Ecclesiastes 4:6 reads, "Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.

Ecclesiastes 9:17 reads, "The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools."

The Greek word for "quiet" means "a tranquil disposition free from the inner turmoil that causes disturbances in the community." (ISBE, Volume 4, p. 11).

Some Christians are like volcanoes waiting to erupt; they live on the edge; others stuff their frustrations and never confront what needs to be addressed; neither group is at peace.

• Living in near panic mode is not a winsome way to live

• Getting off on tangents and extremism repels people from Christ

• A tranquil life is a balanced life

2. TACTFUL speech and courtesy

• Not inflammatory nor rude: "Why do we have to do this?"

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