Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
A LIFE WELL PLEASING TO GOD
For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit. (1Thess4:7,8)In this passage, Paul addresses many moral issues believers face and highlights our need for new morality through perpetual sanctification. The goal is not lowering moral standards corresponding to our behavior, rather complying with God’s standards continuously in holiness. We should always realize that Jesus came not just to redeem and receive us into heaven, but to enable us to live a life pleasing to God as well. Three dilemmas dealt here are: Moral Purity; Brotherly Love; and Ambition.
Moral Purity: Sexual duplicity and debauchery were socially accepted norms in Greece. So, what is the difference between then and now? Whatever difference we may find, the voice for conformity to fleshly desires is noisier and remorseless. Infidelity is the number one reason for divorce in the US. Ironically, the sacrilegious voice arises from behind the facade of freedom and inclusion. But we must realize that God set us free to seek and commune with Him; not to heed and conform to the sensual voice of the world and amend God’s standard. He set us free to be inclusive by uplifting and edifying others, but not to buddy up, condone and revel their way of life. Remember how Joseph reacted to the seductive wife of Potiphar, “how then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” Sanctity of marriage and family life can only be cherished, when we accept that “our body is a temple of God and it is to be offered as a living sacrifice.” In Hebrews, we read that “without holiness, no man shall see God.”
Brotherly Love: Paul emphatically challenges us to be benevolent in brotherly love and reminds that “we have been taught so by God” (v9). Paul is not talking about the love for all men, rather fellow believers. It is to uproot any skirmish among the believers that might hamper spiritual growth. Paul is alluding to what Jesus said to the disciples “All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.”
Ambition: Personal ambition is quite often born of self, fostered by pride and seeks to be sanctified as admirable. It promotes selfish, worldly schemes and apostasy. In chapter 3, we see some of the Thessalonians quit their job in apprehension of the return of Christ. They were restless, and interfered with people’s business. Subsequently, Paul admonishes to work for living; refrain from other people’s affairs; and long for a quiet life. What is our ambition? We may not build houses in Mexico, but we can build a spiritually nourishing home for our families. We may not care for sick children overseas, but we can comfort and pray over a sick child at home. We may not preach across the world, but we can lead family prayer at home. Thus our lives will be a pleasing life to Christ.
Prayer: Holy Father, continue to sanctify us for leading a pleasing life to You, in Jesus’ name. Amen
Mrs. Sini Alex, St.Thomas, New York