Summary: So for now, Something is missing.

What Is Lacking In Your Faith?

(I Thessalonians 3:9-13)

1. Some people always feel like there is something missing from their lives.

2. Other people feel content though they have little in all realms.

Alan McCann said, "The scourge of Christianity is being saved and stuck – thinking that is all there is to being a Christian – a prayer of repentance. Paul wants these believers to know they still have a lot to learn. Yes they are standing firm but they still need to make progress in the Christian faith. He knows that if they are standing still they are already going backwards." (sermoncentral)

3. Our spiritual perspective is often colored by our culture:

Chris Thron shares this insight: "National characteristics are often reflected in the faith of Christians from different cultural backgrounds. For instance, believers from China are remarkable on the whole for their patient endurance and quiet acceptance of trouble and hardship. Believers from India are typically noteworthy for their separation from sin, their devotion, their inner stillness and peace. Believers from African countries are often characterized by their spontaneous, exuberant joy and their unquestioning obedience to the Word of God. American believers, on the other hand, tend to be visionary, dynamic, enterprising, inventive, and willing to stretch themselves to the limit ?

?Unfortunately, these individual strengths have corresponding weaknesses. Chinese believers may easily become passive and resigned. Indian believers may separate themselves to the extent that they become aloof and detached. African believers may fall prey to oversimplification and legalistic literalism. American believers may become worldly, impetuous, headstrong, and opinionated."?(sermoncentral)

4. But no matter how we look at it, when we come to Christ, there is a sense in which we are complete. Colossians 2:10 in the NASB reads, " and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority…"

5. As far as our legal standing before God goes, when we have Christ we have it all.

6. But, on the other hand, as long as we are in these sinful bodies, we will never be complete. We will always be less than we could be.

Main Idea: So for now, Something is missing.

I. WHAT Is Lacking? (9-11)

A. For the Thessalonians, their weakest spot was HOPE

1. He first thanked God for their strengths…(thankfulness/rejoicing)

2. Paul was glad that they were doing as well as they were

3. But he wanted to fill in the gaps

4. The Greek word translated, "supply"

meaning to equip, restore, or complete. The word "artisan" comes from latter part of the word. It was used of a fisherman repairing his net or a surgeon setting bones or a mediator bringing people together.

deficiency, that which is lacking

Paul was eager to visit with them

B. What is lacking in our FAITH?

Here, the term faith means more than "trust," but rather everything we believe and how we live in light of those beliefs.

What do you need repaired, restored, or completed? For what do you need to be equipped? What broken bones need to be set? What relationships need to be reconciled?

What is most lacking? Where do you have spiritual and relational gaps?

In one sense, we are all in the "need to grow" department; in another sense, some of us have a track record of having grown in a number of areas; but we are never done. So, what is lacking?

1. for some, KNOWLEDGE -- some Thessalonians were confused about the end times; others are strong in this department and weak in others…

2. for some, ZEAL

3. for some, LOVE

4. for some, FOLLOW THROUGH -- some were able-bodied but mooching

5. for some, DEVOTION

6. for some, FAITH

7. for some, being FILLED by the Holy Spirit

8. for some, CONTENTMENT is what is lacking

9. for some, RELATIONAL skills are lacking

10. for some, know how to FORGIVE and ask for FORGIVENESS

C. It takes HUMILITY to admit that something is lacking

It takes being in touch with REALITY to realize that something will always be lacking in this life

D. Paul prayed for them DAY and NIGHT

Because he supported himself as a tentmaker, Paul probably prayed while he was sewing tents; often the best time to pray is when we are doing work that does not take concentration… part of the concept of "redeeming the time."

Main Idea: So for now, Something is missing.

II. Why Should We CARE If Something Is Lacking? (13)

A. Because we want to be BLAMELESS to please our God

B. Because we want to be HOLY because our God is holy

C. Because we are focused upon Christ’s RETURN

D. Salvation is by GRACE, but rewards are EARNED

The only thing we contribute to our salvation is the sin from which God saves us; but when it comes to rewards, we must choose constantly whether to put God first…

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