Daily Reading 12-5-16
1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 New Living Translation (NLT)
Every now and then we need a bit of encouragement to press on in our life with God. We can get sloppy in how we live the God-taught life. We are to be filled with joy as we live in the holiness and beauty of God’s presence.
In our passage this morning, the Apostle Paul is giving a Christian pep talk to the Thessalonians. The way he is encouraging them is by clarifying what it means to live to please God. We can learn from Paul’s pep talk, as well. He teaches: Passionate worship, respect for our bodies, and the practice of empathy as we love others.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 Live to Please God
4 1-3 One final word, friends. We ask you—urge is more like it—that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance. You know the guidelines we laid out for you from the Master Jesus. God wants you to live a pure life. Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity.
4-5 Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God.
6-7 Don’t run roughshod over the concerns of your brothers and sisters. Their concerns are God’s concerns, and he will take care of them. We’ve warned you about this before. God hasn’t invited us into a disorderly life but into something holy and beautiful—as beautiful on the inside as the outside.
8 If you disregard this advice, you’re not offending your neighbors; you’re rejecting God, who is making you a gift of his Holy Spirit.
9-10 Regarding life together and getting along with each other, you don’t need me to tell you what to do. You’re God-taught in these matters. Just love one another! You’re already good at it; your friends all over the province of Macedonia are the evidence. Keep it up; get better and better at it.
11-12 Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your Spirit who teaches me how to live in a way that pleases you. Call me to a deeper place in your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.