Did you ever wonder how we in this century differ from those in the first century church?
Take the believers at Thessalonica.
In Paul’s first letter to them, he commended them on what he had been told about them:
“For they themselves shew … how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God: and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” I Thessalonians 1:9-10 KJV
They had turned from the idols they had been worshipping to serving the living and true God, while waiting expectantly for Jesus to return. In chapter four, we see that they believed that Jesus could return at any moment, and were concerned that those who had just died would not be taken to heaven when He did return.
It was this belief in the imminent return of their Savior that made them serve the Lord while they waited. It also directed their hearts and minds to watch for Jesus to return.
We, also, need to be waiting and watching, living each day as if it were our last; because He could return today.
But what do we do while we wait and watch?
The answer to that is also found in these verses: We serve the living and true God.
While we wait, we work and we serve.
In Chapter 4, Paul instructs them on holy living and sanctification. If the people in Thessalonica needed these instructions, how much more do we need them today?
We are inundated every day with worldly distractions, sinful temptations and cares and trials. With the technology available today, we are bombarded with images and music that are filled with those things that will lead us astray. They are there at every turn. What we do with these will reflect our heart and mind.
In 4:7, we are given the standard to which all Christians are called to live up to: “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.” This is absolute, a mandate given by God to us. He is Holy, and requires us to be holy also. (1 Peter 1:16) We are to be holy in our thoughts, in our actions, in the words that we speak.
We are to serve God in this holiness, to do our work as unto Him. Our daily labor, whether it is homemaker, cab driver, doctor or student; is to be done for His glory. We are to go about our daily lives in a way that our actions, our words, and our demeanor all bear witness that we belong to Jesus Christ.
In 4:11-12, Paul gives us direction on how to successfully live and work as God’s witness: “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you: that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.”
Colossians 3:17: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
Again, in Colossians 3:23&24: “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”
The dictionary defines imminent this way: ‘about to occur: about to happen, or threatening to happen.’ The Bible assures us that Jesus’ return is imminent. This means that Jesus could return at any time.
Are you working for Him while you are waiting? Live each moment for Him.
Are the cares and distractions of this world taking your heart and mind off Him? Turn your focus heavenward.
Are you watching? Are you ready?
If you are not sure of your salvation, or your place in heaven, but would like to be sure; please pray this prayer:
“Father, I admit that I am a sinner in need of forgiveness. I believe that you sent your Son to take the penalty for my sin on Himself. Forgive me of my sins. Thank you for this gift of Salvation and your promise of eternity spent in Your presence. I now hand my life over to You. Guide me and direct me in the way You would have me go.”