Good morning! A few weeks ago, I had an assignment that required me to develop some self-control tools. I had no idea how much control my desire for food or other things had control over my life. For example, whether I was hungry or not the thought of a certain dessert would make me drive two hours just to get it and eat it in less 20 minutes. And, of course, I had the perfect justification for it. Yet, later I regretted it. My taste buds didn’t, but my body and my bank account did. There are many things in our society that prompts us to be controlled by it instead of us being self controlled and aligned with God’s will for our lives. Today, Apostle Paul will encourage/instruct the believers in Thessalonica to live holy and have self-control. Enjoy today’s devotion.
Bible verse – 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 NLT
“Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more. 2 For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
3 God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. 4 Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor— 5 not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways. 6 Never harm or cheat a fellow believer in this matter by violating his wife, for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before. 7 God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. 8 Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.”
In 1 Thessalonians chapters 4-5, Paul provides the believers further instruction on areas/gaps that were not taught or expanded on when Paul was physically with them. Paul, unable to travel to them opted to remind/inform them of areas that were lacking and provide spiritual guidance through this letter.
Paul explained some of the obstacles the believers would encounter and be tempted by because of the culture/environment/community they lived in. According to some of my studies, the believers lived in a pagan environment filled with accepted sexual immorality by the people and in Greek worship. Paul, wanted to be clear that those practices did not represent Christ – God’s call for us to be set apart, to live holy, and to be self-controlled.
Sisters and brothers, we live in a similar culture – one that deems almost everything is ok or acceptable and it is not. We are challenged as believers to live lives that set us apart from the things that do not please God. We may not be able to escape the environment, but we can be the light in the darkness. As Paul mentioned, self-control is key to living in holiness and in honor.
Question to ponder:
Which area in your life requires more self-control?
Father God, we thank you for another day and another opportunity to sing your praises. Thank you for sending Jesus to save us. You alone know the condition of our hearts and our thoughts. Lord, we desire to live a Holy life – a life that pleases you. Help us when we are tempted to do things that do not please you. Help us in every area of our lives that need more self-control. Help us to turn away/to be set apart, and be ok with not being accepted by others or the world when we elect to follow your will for our lives. Lord, give us courage and boldness to live for you. Help us to keep pushing forward in spiritual maturity and our walk with you. In Jesus name, amen.
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