Summary: ‘Living to Please God’ – 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 verses 1-12 – sermon by Gordon Curley (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email


(1). Walk in holiness (vs 1-8):

(a). Right attitude (vs 1a)

(b). Right actions (vs 2-3)

(c). Right Appreciation (vs 6-8)

(2). Walk in Harmony (vs 9-10)

(3). Walk in Honesty (vs 11-12):



• At the F.A. Cup final a diehard fan remarked about it to a woman sitting nearby.

• That he was surprised to see an empty seat at such an important game.

• The woman explained, “It was my husband’s, but he died.”

• The man replied.

• “I’m very sorry to hear that! But I am really surprised that another relative, or friend.

• Didn’t jump at the chance to take the seat reserved for him.”

• “Beats me too,” she said.

• “But they all insisted on going to the funeral.”

• TRANSITION: That story is funny because the woman had mixed up priorities:

• The apostle Paul writes to the Thessalonians Church and says.

• “Get your priorities right!”

• The priority of every Christian is to please God:

• That is emphasised in verse 1: “Live in order to please God”.

• KJB: “Walk so as to please God”.

• Amplified: “Walk so as to please and gratify God”

• And the first twelve verses of this chapter tell each one of us how to do that.

• The section divides nicely under three headings.

(1). Walk in holiness (vs 1-8):

1”Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.“


• Everybody lives to please somebody.

• It might be a wife = husband or boyfriend/girlfriend,

• May be a child = parent or someone else.

• Sadly, some people just live to please themselves.


• A churchwarden arrived at a vicarage to keep his appointment with the vicar,

• But the vicar’s teenage son answered the door and said:

• “I'm afraid he won't be able to see you after all

• He's just had a letter offering him the post of Bishop of the Bahamas!'

• The warden replied:

• “But he's only just been appointed to this parish.”

• “Yes, I know”; said the son, “But he's being offered a car, six weeks' annual holiday.

• And twice the salary. So, he's gone to his study to pray for guidance.”

• The warden then asked: “What about your mother, is she praying with him?”

• The son replied: “No, she's up in the bedroom packing the suitcases.”

• TRANSITION: Some people just live to please themselves.

• But that should never be the attitude of the Christian!

(a). Right attitude (vs 1a):

• Note the words, “As in fact you are living” or “Just as you are walking”.

• That phrase tells us that the apostle Paul is not rebuking them for disobedience,

• But rather affirming them in their Christian walk.

• And encouraging them to continue their growth pattern.

• In other words, he is saying.

• “You’re doing really great! But don’t settle there! Excel!”

Pleasing God ought to be the major motivation in their life.

• Because the Christian faith is a relationship and not just a set of religious beliefs!

• Our aim, our goal in life to please God.


• Jesus could say, (John chapter 8 verse 29):

• “I do always those things that please the Father”

• Pleasing God means much more than simply doing God’s will.

• It is possible to obey God and yet not please Him.

• i.e. Story of the little boy on a long car journey,

• Who stood up on the back seat of the car and refused to sit down?

• When threatened by his parents, that if they have to stop the car he was in big trouble!

• The boy sat down and said,

• “I may be sitting down in my body, but in my mind, I’m standing up!”

• TRANSITION: Pleasing God means much more than simply doing what’s right.

• It is possible to obey God and yet not please Him.

• i.e. The Pharisees at the time of Jesus were good at that,

• “Worship God with their lips but their hearts were far from him”

• (Matthew chapter 15 verse 8 & Isaiah chapter 29 verse 13)

(b). Right actions (vs 2-3):

“For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

3It is God’s will that you should be sanctified;”

4that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God


• Do you remember the old days (before Covid-19)?

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion