The action verbs in this text should reflect our heart attitudes. Those attitudes will only
reflect what we dwell on in our minds. As I have said before, the commands that Paul gives us are not just a list of do’s and don’ts, with the fear that God is going to zap us (which He is absolutely just in doing should he chose) but a reflection of what God is like. God is showing us his character here, and now that we know what He is like, we can let his mind, attitudes and character direct us as we walk upright before this world. People are watching us.
Living to Please God
4 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. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. 9 Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more. 11 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God of Holiness, Honor, Purity and Justice. I AM The All Powerful Righteous Judge and the standard that I judge by is my own perfect holiness. At the same time I AM also the God of Love, patience, Mercy, Compassion, forgiveness and grace you cannot chose one over the other. If people do not respond to the latter in the short time they still have on this earth, they will regretfully discover the former after they die. In the mean time, my desire for you as my children is that you reflect all of these righteous attributes of mine to those around you. You are to be dignified, honorable, and respectable as princes and princesses of the King of Kings. My kingdom’s reputation is staked on your actions in these matters. My glory is reflected or diminished by you.
The world seeks to fulfill its own needs and cravings in whatever way seems convenient to them. You are not to do so. I AM the God who meets your real needs. You have to trust me in this and let me fill your needs in my perfect time. Be careful not to confuse wants and lusts with real needs, and do not try to meet your own needs in an unrighteous manner.
This world will see me for who I AM; my honor and respect, my purity and holiness, my grace and love in you as you walk controlled by my Spirit. No, it is not with outward exhibitions of miraculous signs, but rather, by the inward miracle of a changed human heart by my grace. The world has no clue of this kind of power.
The common denominator in many of Paul’s exhortations; holy living, walking upright before others, and living worthily of God in this world is Love. Love focuses its attention on the needs of others before its own. Only God can work out this love in you. Jesus summarizes the Law and prophets by saying that Love does no harm to others. It is hard to take advantage of, or sin against anyone when you have his or her best interests at heart. And just as this is the day of God’s salvation, grace and mercy; so too we are to walk in these attributes.
In this world we have not been given the responsibility to judge others as God will, but he has given us the responsibility to live upright, holy, respectful and honorable lives as testimony to His character of holiness and as a warning of the coming day of reckoning. Don’t let your actions be the reason someone rejects Christ. We are to be just and upright in our own actions but merciful showing grace to those of others. Some day in the future, we will sit on thrones with Christ and judge the nations, but today is not that day. Today is the day of salvation.
More to come,