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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 (quickview) )

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 (quickview)  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


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