God’s Saving Word: Encouragement
1 Thessalonians 4:1-18: Paul encourages the Thessalonians to continue living in ways that please God. He states that “God wants you to be holy” which implies doing what God wants and avoiding immoral behavior. The chapter concludes with Paul, once again, referring to Christ’s return.
A Life That Pleases God
4 Finally, our friends, you learned from us how you should live in order to please God. This is, of course, the way you have been living. And now we beg and urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to do even more. 2 For you know the instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3 God wants you to be holy and completely free from sexual immorality. 4 Each of you should know how to live with your wife[a] in a holy and honorable way, 5 not with a lustful desire, like the heathen who do not know God. 6 In this matter, then, none of you should do wrong to other Christians or take advantage of them. We have told you this before, and we strongly warned you that the Lord will punish those who do that. 7 God did not call us to live in immorality, but in holiness. 8 So then, whoever rejects this teaching is not rejecting a human being, but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
9 There is no need to write you about love for each other. You yourselves have been taught by God how you should love one another. 10 And you have, in fact, behaved like this toward all the believers in all of Macedonia. So we beg you, our friends, to do even more. 11 Make it your aim to live a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to earn your own living, just as we told you before. 12 In this way you will win the respect of those who are not believers, and you will not have to depend on anyone for what you need.
The Lord’s Coming
13 Our friends, we want you to know the truth about those who have died, so that you will not be sad, as are those who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will take back with Jesus those who have died believing in him.
15 What we are teaching you now is the Lord’s teaching: we who are alive on the day the Lord comes will not go ahead of those who have died. 16 There will be the shout of command, the archangel’s voice, the sound of God’s trumpet, and the Lord himself will come down from heaven. Those who have died believing in Christ will rise to life first; 17 then we who are living at that time will be gathered up along with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. 18 So then, encourage one another with these words.
Today’s Key Verse: 1 Thessalonians 4:14
We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will take back with Jesus those who have died believing in him.
How does Paul describe a life that pleases God (verses 1-12)? What were your thoughts as you read these verses? In verse 7, Paul says that God calls us to live in holiness. What is your understanding of this call? What does Paul teach about the Lord’s coming (verses 13-18)? What were your thoughts as you read these verses?
Loving God, you have taught us how to love one another and how to live in holiness. Guide my thoughts, words, and actions this day so that all I say and do is pleasing in your sight. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
And now, join us in thanking God for the Holy Scriptures being supplied to military families. Loving God, during the difficult times of a loved one’s deployment, the American Bible Society’s Hero Squad program is furnishing Scripture resources and children’s Bibles to military families. Children are overjoyed to receive their own Bibles and being drawn close to your Word. Holy God, we give thanks for Bible-a-Month Partners who are bringing military children and families closer to Christ as they meet Jesus in the Bibles they help to provide. Amen.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-28: The apostle Paul encourages the Thessalonians to be ready for the Lord’s coming.