Summary: For the believer, life is not obtaining the good life, BUT about living the life God ordained for us.
LIVING THE LIFE OF A BELIEVER
1 THESS 4:1-8
INTRODUCTION: I am sure that we have all heard about the good life. Living the good life, or having the good life, or getting the good life. Problem with the good life is that good does not necessarily mean the same thing to everyone. For one the good life may be the possession of material things, yet different things are important to different people. I have often spoken to my wife about the engagement ring I gave her. I have wanted to replace it. Each time I have brought up the subject she has said no. Now to me this material thing is important, to her it is not, and I never knew why. So, this last time, I asked I got a glimmer as to why. Sherry told me that if it made me happy, I could replace the stone, BUT I would also have to have the one she has now replaced. Then she said, you know, Guy, one of the things a like about this ring is that I do not have to worry about it catching on things or scratching someone else. I do not have to turn it around to protect it. You can replace it if you want to, but I like this one. Well, I may get her another ring, but I will never replace the one she has.
To others the good life is not what we possess materially, but what we possess physically. How many of us would exchange valuables for good health and long life? Once again, good health to one is not good health to another.
Solomon says it this way, … ( I am reading from The Message)
Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 (MSG) I said to myself, "Let’s go for it—experiment with pleasure, have a good time!" But there was nothing to it, nothing but smoke.
2 What do I think of the fun-filled life? Insane! Inane! My verdict on the pursuit of happiness? Who needs it?
3 With the help of a bottle of wine and all the wisdom I could muster, I tried my level best to penetrate the absurdity of life. I wanted to get a handle on anything useful we mortals might do during the years we spend on this earth.
4 Oh, I did great things: built houses, planted vineyards,
5 designed gardens and parks and planted a variety of fruit trees in them, 6 made pools of water to irrigate the groves of trees. 7 I bought slaves, male and female, who had children, giving me even more slaves; then I acquired large herds and flocks, larger than any before me in Jerusalem. 8 I piled up silver and gold, loot from kings and kingdoms. I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song, and—most exquisite of all pleasures— voluptuous maidens for my bed.
9 Oh, how I prospered! I left all my predecessors in Jerusalem far behind, left them behind in the dust. What’s more, I kept a clear head through it all.
10 Everything I wanted I took—I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. I sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task—my reward to myself for a hard day’s work!
11 Then I took a good look at everything I’d done, looked at all the sweat and hard work. But when I looked, I saw nothing but smoke. Smoke and spitting into the wind. There was nothing to any of it. Nothing.
I would like to submit to you that for the believer, life is not a out living, or obtaining the good life, BUT about living the life God ordained for us.
So what kind of life should we be living for God. Here are a couple of thoughts!
I. LIVING THE LIFE OF A BELIEVER IS LIVING A PLEASING LIFE -- 1Thess 4:1-2
A. A Pleasing Life Is A Priority
1. The word how is the Greek word for “you must”
2. It is an imperative, a command – We are commanded to live a life pleasing to God.
B. Hearing brings responsibility
1. The Thessalonians had heard from Paul how they were to live
2. So now pleasing God is no longer an option.
3. We can no longer just have the desire to please God, we must have the duty to please Him as well
James 4:17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.
C. Look at all the ways Paul communicates the need to live a life pleasing to God.
1. How (you must) – verse 1
2. Ask and urge you – verse 1
3. How we gave you (military term – orders) – verse 2
Now in all of this Paul is communicating to the church that they need to e doing what he had instructed them to do.