I Thessalonians 4 – With the Presence of God
Friday, 10th February 2023
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Section One V1-8 To Be Sanctified
V1-2 ‘Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus.’ Paul called the people of Thessalonian Church brothers, he humbled himself and uplifted the church. Through God, he was humble and he did not want to give them pressure as an authority, instead, he expressed love and trust to them. At the same time, Paul reminded them not to be in a ‘doing’ mode, only do what Paul told them to do, but to walk an extra mile.
We tend to do what we are told to do, but God is pleased with us when we walk an extra mile for Him. How can we do it? It’s all comes from our hearts, do we have a heart to simply please God? Again Paul reminded the church, everything he told them was from Jesus Christ, who wanted them to possess their own vessel in sanctification and honour. The church of Thessalonica was in a place of foreign gods, there were many idol worshipping going on around them, and Paul reminded them to stay in holiness.
We should not allow our lustful desires to take over our mind but receive strength through God. It’s so easy to allow our emotions to take over, to say and do the things that we will regret. When we live according to our emotions, we will then hide away from God and from people. At the end we will hide in the cave and in the darkness. This is the trap of the devil, do not fall into this trap, but to overcome by the Holy Spirit. God is Yahweh, He is the Creator God, and there is nothing He cannot do. We must rely on Him to overcome all the challenges in life. When others fell into the trap, when they used their negative emotions towards us, do not allow them to affect our emotions, do not be like them, but to help them see God.
So often, when people cannot see God, when people fall into darkness, we will also go into the darkness with them. But God calls us to arise and shine, He wants us to live out the honour and sanctification, to bring light to those in the darkness. Furthermore, Paul reminded the people to trust in God and let God take over. Do not try to fight for ourselves, do not try to justify for ourselves, because God will vindicate. Proclaim that we are sanctified, see the truth, we can overcome, we don’t have to stay in the darkness and wickedness.
Sometimes we will say that ‘we are always like this’ or ‘we can never change’, but these are the words of the devil, especially when we are far away from the Word of God, we will easily let the lies of devil come into our lives. So let us be sanctified and know the Word of God. Also, God will speak through our authority, so do not think that we don’t have the listen to our authority. Have faith in God, because everything comes to us will go through Him, and every teaching spoken to us will also go through Him.
Section Two V9-12 To Love One Another
V9-10 ‘But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; and indeed, you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more.’ Paul reminded the church that they were able to help the church of Macedonia was not by their own strength, because everything they could do was because of the strength given to them from God. Let us be still, do not look at what other people are doing, do not try to be the judge of others, but to focus on what God wants us to do right now, right here.
We are not here to judge God or judge others, because God is the Creator God, we are His creations. He does not need us to tell Him what to do, but instead, when we see the problems, God wants us to pray for the land, pray for the people, pray for the churches. God does not need us to understand why things on this world are happening, He wants us to understand the truth, the Word of God, and the heart of God. When we are willing to offer, to focus on the Work of God, and to be still, then we will lack in nothing as God has promised us.
Section Three V11-18 To Live in the Word of God
God’s Word is already there, He has already given us the way of living. We don’t need to understand everything, and we don’t need to explain everything to others. We are so easily to think about things that did not happen or words that were not spoken. But God wants us to focus on the things He instructs us to do, not to always say ‘what if’. This is our prideful and sinful nature; this is also why Eve ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. We don’t need to understand everything, we only need to have faith in God, to only seek God, and to be diligent in the things given to us.
Let us live a life with the presence of God, a life of sanctification, a life loves one another, and a life in the Word of God. God’s presence is with us, we don’t have to fear and we don’t have to worry.