Thursday, July 10, 2008

SOAP Study - 7/10/08 (1 Thess 2:13-16)


1 Thessalonians 2:13-16

"And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved--so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But God's wrath has come upon them at last."



"We also continually thank God that when you accepted the word we brought to you, you accepted it as the very Word of God and not mere words of men. Indeed it is God's word and it is working in you. Look at how you have become imitators of the churches in Judea. Your own countrymen are persecuting you just as the Jews persecuted them. Jews were the ones who killed our Lord Jesus and the prophets of old. They also drove us out. Their actions are very displeasing to God because they are opposing his message from going unto the rest of the world that those who are in it might be saved. By doing this they keep stacking sin upon sin, but God is taking care of them right now."

What is God saying?

The Jews thought they were being faithful to God (YHWH), but in reality they were hindering God's work. In doing so they were incurring God's wrath and eventually punishment. God has a perfect plan for the world. He has chosen to use us to accomplish this plan. We can be wonderful tools used to accomplish some great things or we can be the instruments of sabotage used by the enemy.

I know the focus could be "the Jews," but I don't think this is the focus at all. I think God is saying that if we don't fully trust him and give ourselves to him then we are against him. God had chosen the Jewish people. Why? God chose the Jewish people so that through them the world might be saved. It was through them that the Savior came. The problem is, they had become so blinded by their own agenda they failed to see God's agenda. If you aren't for God you are against God. If you are against God you better expect consequences.

What is God saying to me?

I have an agenda and many times I want to believe that my agenda is God's agenda. It is not only an agenda in one area, it is agendas in many different areas. I have an agenda as a husband, father, Christian, pastor, etc... I can get very caught up in my agendas. I can get so caught up in them that they become counter productive to what God has in mind.

I have to ask myself. Do I really seek God enough? Am I sure that what I am doing is God's will? I don't want to be an instrument of sabotage. I want to be an instrument of good. I want to be used by God to introduce people to him and help them grow in their relationship with him.


It is so imporant that I spend time with God each day and realign myself with him. I need to read his Word. I need to spend time in prayer. I need to do things that he would do. This is the only way I can be sure that I am the tool he can use to accomplish his will and not the instrument of sabotage the enemy wants.

As I do my job as a husband, father, pastor, etc... I need to continually ask myself. Is this my will or God's will? My will benefits only me. God's will benefits others and me. The benefit might just be in knowing that I did what was good and right and having peace of mind.


Father, I continually struggle with doing what I want instead of doing what you want. I know that I can be used by the enemy as an instrument of sabotage when I only think of myself. I admit to you, it is hard not to think of only myself. Once again, I am in desparate need of you. I need you to help me put myself aside and put others in front. I want to be used by you as a tool to accomplish your purpose. This is my prayer to you. Thank you for listening to me.

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