Thursday, July 24, 2008

SOAP - 7/24/2008 (1 Thess 4:9-12)


"Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly , and to mind your own affairs, and to work with you hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one."

Verses that stuck out:

"...concerning brotherly this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one."



"I want to write to you concerning your love for one another. I don't need to write you and tell you that you are supposed to do it or how to do it for God has already taught you how. In fact, you are doing it very well and it shows in how you have loved all fellow Christians through Macedonia. No, instead I want to encourage you to allow your love for one another to continue to grow and be exhibited through your actions. Make it a point to not be too active. Focus on what you need to do and do what it takes to get it done!! This is what we taught you when we were with you. If you do these things you will be a good reflection of Jesus and you will not have to depend upon anyone else."

Okay, so I took a lot of liberty with this, but I also looked up a few Greek words to do it.

What is God saying?

I know that this section is usually the longest section, but I don't think I need to go into an extended discussion of what God is saying through this passage. I think it is pretty clear. We are called to love one another. When we focus on other things outside of this calling we loose focus of it. Paul says to "love more and more." When our lives become to busy (and there is a lot that we can do) we become too focused on ourselves. We forget that we are called to show the world who Jesus is. So we need to be careful in what we get involved in. If we can constantly remember what we are supposed to be doing then we are good, but as soon as our activities overshadow our view we need to drop something in order to see clearly.

So don't get to busy, focus on what needs to be focused on (showing Christ to the world), do what needs to be done and work hard at doing it! That is the message! Plain and simple.

What is God saying to me?

Every single one of us knows that life can be extremely busy, but for what purpose? I am tired of all the stress that comes about from things that don't really matter in the long run. I need to really take a good look at my life. Where am I so busy that I have become focused on the task instead of being focused on showing Christ? In reality, this is just another trap of Satan trying to get our mind off of what is important (God) and on what is not that important (ourselves).

I'm not saying that we have to drop everything we are involved in, but if what we are involved in is causing headache, heartache and any other kind of ache (besides a godly discontent) then we should look at dropping it. Our purpose is to be like Jesus and I think that the more we focus on this the more fulfilling life will be.

Let me get a little more personal. Our kids are involved in a lot of different things. Five kids and lots of activities can be one big pain!!! Why are we doing all these things? The way we approach these activities will determine how they affect our life. If, for instance, we have the kids involved in sports in hopes that one day they will earn a scholarship through it or do it professionally to make a lot of money then we have started the headache immediately, but if our perspective is that of our family trying to show others who Jesus is and at the same time having a little fun then we are not going to take it so serious where it completely stresses us out. If our kids have a natural ability and God chooses to use it then great!!!!

So God is saying "Brian!!! Look at me!! Where's your focus? I want you to ask that every time you get involved in something. Why are you doing it? If you are doing it for me and for the love of others then your doing it for the right reason. If you are doing it solely for you, then quit or I might have to take a spiritual 2x4 and make you quit!!! Why? Because I love ya bonehead!!!" Okay, maybe he wouldn't put it that way.


This one is going to be a hard one to do and I really need those who are reading this blog to keep me accountable on this. I really need to sit down and evaluate what I am doing. I am going to set a date to have this done by. Let's say...the end of the month. Ask me by the end of the month if I've done the evaluating that I am supposed to do.


Father, I admit to you that I allow "life" to get in the way of what I am really suppose to be doing. I confess that when I do this I am not showing you to others, I am showing me to others. I am the less desirable of the two. Please help me to maintain a right focus. Whatever I am involved in please help me to see it as another way to show people who you are. If I loose this focus please remind me...gently...of what I am supposed to do. If I don't listen then I expect the spiritual 2x4 to be used. Thank you for reminding me of this today. Thank you for listening to my prayer.

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