1 Thessalonians 5.16-18 – August 25, 2020

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18

Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18, NIV)

In a world that feels very shaky, there may be no better advice as we continue to live for God.

Thought Questions:

What are reasons you have to rejoice today? In what ways have you expressed that rejoicing to others?

How can a person pray continually? What advice would you give to someone just starting out a life of faith that might help them learn how to pray continually?

How can you give thanks during difficult circumstances … like, the world we live in today, perhaps?

1 Thessalonians 4.1-18 – May 27, 2020

1 Thessalonians 4:1–18

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.
It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body  in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister.  The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.
Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. 
(1 Thessalonians 4:1–12, NIV)

“A healthy reminder to live pleasing to God.”

Thought Questions:

If you were going to list the ways you should live to live a life “pleasing to God,” what sort of things would you put on your list?

What specific actions can you do to day to demonstrate your love for one another?

How does your life win the respect of those who do not know God yet?

The Potter’s House – October 11, 2019

Jeremiah 16.16-18.23; 1 Thessalonians 4.1-5.3; Psalm 81.1-16; Proverbs 25.6-8

We like to assume we know what is best for us and we are more than willing to tell God how he should act in our lives for that “best” to come to fruition. Unfortunately–at least from our way of thinking–God does not work that way. He is the potter and we are the clay. He, as the potter, has every right to form us in the way he deems best. (To even start over if he needs to!) And truth be known, his way really is better than our way of thinking. How how you wrestled with God’s acting on your life, only to discover that his way really was better?

Questions:

In what ways do we attempt to create our own gods? How has that worked out for us?

What do we need to do to live in a way that please God?

How has God taken a load from your shoulders or a heavy task from your hands?

Why are we so prone to push our way in amongst great people rather than waiting for an invitation, as God suggests?

Repentance – October 10, 2019

Jeremiah 14.11-16.15; 1 Thessalonians 2.9-3.13; Psalm 80.1-19; Proverbs 25.1-5

When one reads through the Old Testament, particularly the prophets such as Jeremiah, one is struck about harsh they tend to sound. God sounds really, really grumpy, doesn’t he? Yet a closer look reveals two things. First, there is grace scattered all the way throughout the prophets. God wants to restore his people. The second thing you see, related to the first, is that God wants his people to turn to him. Return to me and I will restore you, God says. How important is it for us to repent to God for our actions and attitudes that are contrary to Him?

Questions:

How bad do you have to be if even Moses or Samuel cannot plead your case and get God to listen?

What sort of people would be considered your spiritual “pride and joy?” Describe the relationship you have with them.

Why is it only through God turning us to Himself that we are saved?

How can we go about removing the impurities of our life?