You may wonder how the early church apostles, pastors, and teachers exhorted different members of the churches to live their life. This is taught in 1 Thessalonians 2 by Paul. And I am mentioning churches as the place of worship, but one church in all, as Paul also references this fact in this chapter. This is like we have today with many Bible-believing churches, but all in all, Jesus is the head of His church, which we are all under. And in saying this, Paul said, “as ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, that ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:11-13) First of all, we learn that every member of Christ’s church should walk worthy of their faith in Him. Because we called in God’s kingdom, we should also show the fruits of our salvation. Otherwise, they are only saying they believe in Jesus, but have nothing to show for themselves. A changed life only happens with God’s help. That is why we seek the Lord daily through Bible study and prayer.
Paul also said, “for ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men.” (1 Thessalonians 2:14-15) We know that since we belong to the church of Christ that there will be persecutions. There will come laughers, scoffers, and even murderers in extreme circumstances. But to show that you are all in for Jesus, backing out of our faith in order to live is out of the equation. As Paul taught, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) If you believe this to be true, then dying for Christ’s sake is what we must do in this life, even for our family and friends. Lastly, Paul left us by saying, “for what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy.” (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20) Our joy comes from the Lord, not the things of this world. We may lose everything, but to be in the presence of the Lord, one day forever, is what we look for in the end. This is after we are rewarded in judgment and then obtain eternal life with our most glorious Lord, and our God in heaven.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray that each person who says they believe in You will also walk worthy of their faith. That what they say in church will also be seen in action. Not only in church, but outside the church walls also. All throughout scripture, we are asked to walk worthy and to seek first the kingdom of God. By so doing, a changed life does occur. I know this to be true, for You have come into my life, as I have allowed You in. Where different addictions and various sinful things used to dwell therein, You have come and cast them all out. Thank You, Jesus. There was no more room for living for the pleasures of the flesh, but to live for You, my God, now. Eternal life and heaven above can only be gained through following You and Your teachings, Jesus. I know this to be true, but I pray that others will also. Help people understand that in baptism, we put on Christ, that You may dwell in us through the Holy Spirit. And by so doing, we are allowing You, our God, to lead us by the hand instead of ourselves. I’ve found joy in Your presence. Even peace that is beyond my understanding. May Your holiness dwell in me at all times. Help me to act loving, respectful, and kind towards everyone I meet. Open my mouth, that I may speak what people need to hear in that moment they are with me. I believe in You. I trust in You. I love You. Amen.