1 Thessalonians 4 ends with a fascinating section about future events. Paul makes it clear that a day is coming when Jesus will come back to earth and we will enter into Heaven to live with Christ, forever! Sometimes when I watch the 6pm news, I’m convinced that day is closer than we think.
We live in a world where we have the coolest gadgets and technology at our fingertips, things that can make the hardest tasks so easy. My friend controls his lights, his TV, his music and his house temperature all from his smartphone. From phones to computers to iStuff — we have it all. I’m a total tech-geek too, so I get into to the gizmos that make life easy.
Several years ago, a video about a young autistic basketball player went viral; his story was everywhere, on every news station and in every home. Probably most of you have already seen or heard his story.
For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope — Romans 15:3-4
“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” — Luke 2:25-26
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” — 1 Corinthians 13:13
“We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” — 1 Thessalonians 1:3
“We always thank God…when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints — the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven…” — Colossians 1:3-5
Before starting this section grab a blank piece of paper and a pen. You didn’t move. You’re not fooling me! Write your answer to the following question: If I could do anything to build God’s Kingdom what would I do and why? Take some time to think about that and answer it.
My friend and long time prayer warrior for our church died yesterday. She gave up her last breath in this life to take in breath in the very presence of her Creator God! As much as she will be missed this side of Glory, I’m rejoicing that she is now on that side of glory — in fact, two days ago I sat in her room at the nursing home and cried tears as I prayed for God to take her home. She was ready.
Jesus never said one negative thing about Himself. This is a pattern we should begin to develop in our lives. There is a verse that I think will help us with this. It says this,
Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
- Philippians 3:16
The past does not define who we are! We need to live up to what we have already attained in Christ. What has God already attained for us? –Blessing, hope, forgiveness, future, redemption, and the list goes on and on. These are the things that need to define our present. Once we start living up to the things that have already been attained for us, we will experience the life God designed to be lived in and through us. Read that last sentence again. So the question is: What has God already attained for us that reveals who we are in Him?