Today we are reading in the letter from Paul, 1 Thessalonians 4. It starts with showing us how we can live to please the Lord. It first tells us that we should be sanctified, which means the process of living a Christian life and continuously allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us to change us to reflect the Lord. He is super specific in his directions on sexual desires and activities and how they are to be saved for marriage, how we need to treat our bodies as holy and honorable and not let lust take over and get us into trouble. In his talk about lust we learn from our application that acting on desires is different than having the desire. Acting out sinful desires can cause so many problems, this is where we need to face it head on because thinking on those desires can lead to action, which causes a lot more problems and usually pain to others. He goes on to share with them that living for Christ also means love for each other and he goes on to share our verse for the day. Before we get into that, we see him giving hope to those who are now believers, over their loved ones who have died. Our application tells us “Paul wanted the Thessalonians to understand that death is not the end of the story. When Christ returns, all believers – dead and alive – will be reunited, never to suffer or die again…God will turn our tragedies into triumphs, our poverty into riches, our pain to glory and our defeat to victory.” Isn’t that so encouraging?
As for our verse today, I really appreciate what he is saying here. “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life.” My mind immediately went to the scripture from Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Meekness is looked at by our culture as weakness, but a better, more practical for today, synonym for this word is actually gentle. I loved what I read on Christianity.com about this, “…the greatest Person who ever lived was a meek and humble man-‘learn from Me, for I am gentle [meek] and humble in heart’ (Matthew 11:29)…Those who follow Him will also demonstrate meekness, or gentleness as the fruit of a Spirit-filled life (Galatians 5:22)…don’t equate gentleness with cowardice, lack of conviction, or mere human niceness. It’s a virtue that draws courage, strength, conviction, and good disposition from God, not from self-centered human resources.” In his calling of us to lead a quiet life, he is telling us to be humble and gentle and follow in his example, but not only telling us but it says to make it our ambition, this means a strong desire or determination to succeed at. He wants us to make this a goal of our lives!
Think over your life right now, in what areas are you NOT leading a quiet life? Maybe it’s social media, maybe it’s in a relationship, maybe it’s simply in your response towards others, whatever it may be, write it down. Ask God to starting working within you to help you live more gently in this area. What is a way that you could start to change this area today and moving forward?
Lord, thank you for this part of the letter from Paul, thank you for showing us what it means to live for you and the desires you have for us. We see your example to be gentle and humble and live in your example, not to be loud or prideful in our lives; that you desire for us to grow closer to you in these challenges. I pray you reveal to us where we are being proud instead of meek, where we are listening to the world and not to you. Convict us and move within us in the areas that needs some heart work done. We thank you for this message and our time with you. In Jesus humble, gentle and strong name we pray, AMEN!