2 Thessalonians 3:5 Love & Perseverance

 

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May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. 2 Thessalonians 3:5

Every person’s heart is led somewhere. Where the heart is led, depends on who is leading it or guiding it. The world has a heart that is filled with self-love. It seeks to find what is best at the moment for self. It then has extreme perseverance to go after what seems to be best at that moment.

There are stories of people who had a dream to get out of extreme poverty and with years of hard work were able to become self-made millionaires. They had a love for something and aimed for it. They did not give up, but kept going after it. The only thing is that what they went after was of only temporary value, not eternal value.

Many people have a love for something and have the perseverance to go after it, but most of those things are of selfish desires and have no eternal value.

Paul prays that God directs the hearts of the people into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.

God’s love is an eternal, undying, selfless love for every person, regardless of who one is or what one has done. His love was so great that He was willing to send His only Son to die on a cross to save that person who did not know Him or love Him.

Jesus, God’s Son, persevered under extreme persecution. He underwent dying on the cross in an extremely excruciating method so that one could be saved from his sins and death.

Every believer needs their heart to match after God’s heart in these areas. If one is filled with God’s perfect love and Christ’s perseverance, there is nothing that cannot be done. It will strengthen the believer to overcome sins done against him. It will give him the hope of eternal salvation and life during difficult times.

All of this starts in the heart with God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.

Allow God to work in your heart to know the love He has for all people and gain that love for all people. Allow the perseverance that Jesus went through to strengthen you to continue on in the path God has laid out before you.

Let the desires of God become the desires of your heart. This can only be done by allowing God’s Holy Spirit to direct your heart.

I pray today that you will allow God to change your heart; that your heart will be filled with God’s love; that your life will be filled with God’s perseverance; and that you will live to do God’s will on this earth for your life. 

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1 Thessalonians 4:7 The Right Type Of Life

 

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For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 1 Thessalonians 4:7

Views on how to live life vary from person to person and nation to nation around the world. Some families focus on the goal of getting a high level college degree. Others focus on getting six digit incomes. Others focus on some sport or just on having fun.

On each of these there are many people who just focus on that one area and aim for it. While aiming for it is not a bad thing, often it is done at any cost. Family is rejected, responsibilities are neglected, morals are thrown out, and deception occurs. Each of these things and more become impure motives and lives. Sin has crept in and taken over.

God did not call people to live impure, sinful, selfish lives. Every person is called to live a holy life, one that is pure and free from all sin.

There are some who look at that statement and think of legalism. God did not call people to legalism either. He wants people to want to live pure and holy for Him because of His great love for each one.

Living a holy life means one is turning away from sin. One of the greatest sins people have is selfishness. Nearly every sin comes down to selfish desires. Not just greed, but wanting a way that is not allowed and forcing it to happen, satisfying an emotion or feeling at the expense of holiness.

Jesus lived a perfect, holy life with no sin. Every believer is to strive to live that same life. God has called each person to live that way. That is the entire reason God sent Jesus to die on the cross to remove all sin from the life of a person.

Since Jesus has removed all of your sin, why would you want to go back to it?

Live a life that is full of God’s love and you will live a life that is holy and pure. As you show love to others, you will not allow sin in your life. Impure thoughts cannot share the same space as love.

God has given you His Holy Spirit to guide you in how to live your life. Listen to what He says and follow Him. Allow your life to be set apart and different from this world, be pure in God’s sight.

I pray today that you will hear the Holy Spirit’s guidance for your life; that you will live a life worthy of what Jesus has done for you; that you will live your life like that of Jesus; and that the world will see you set apart for God. 

1 Thessalonians 2:5 No Mask Or Flattery

 

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You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed–God is our witness. 1 Thessalonians 2:5

The world likes to use flattery or masks when they are speaking to someone else. It is commonly seen in the workplace that a worker talks very highly of his boss in the boss’s presence, but cuts him down in private talks. In the presence of the boss it appears as though he loves his boss, but in reality does not like him at all.

Children are known for using flattery with their parents to get something that they want. A child will come up to this father or mother telling them how much he loves them (when normally he never says that he loves them) and offers to do some extra chore. A wise parent will realize that the child is desiring something of them. The child put on a mask of feigned love and used flattery to attempt to get something.

Believers in the church will often use the same type of speaking with God and others. Churches speak only good sounding messages, rather than the whole truth of God. They speak only what the people want to hear. People claim to love God, yet refuse to give up sin or do what He asks of them. They worship God, just to get something from Him, not out of true love.

Flattery is used for selfish reasons to get what one wants from someone else. Paul stated that they did not use any of that when speaking to the people. Believers are supposed to speak true from the heart, not from the surface. They are not to act like they care or don’t need anything, when they don’t care and want something from the other person.

The words of a person are powerful, so they must come from the heart. They should not be used for selfish gain, but to build others up and draw them closer to God.

Take a look at how you speak to others. What is the purpose of your words when talking to someone or to God? Are they only for selfish gain or to build God’s kingdom?

Strive to speak like Jesus did. He never used any flattery or put on a mask feigning love when He spoke to the people. His words were true from the heart. Are yours?

I pray today that God will reveal your heart’s motives; that God will give you the words to speak; that your words will be like the words of God; and that God will reveal any greed in your heart to remove it.

Philippians 2:3-4 How To Do What You Do

 

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Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4

The majority of people do not think of themselves as selfish. They want to believe that they are concerned for others. Yet, when it is closely looked at the reason why they do what they do, there is usually an underlying characteristic of selfishness.

Very few people do the majority of what they do without selfish ambition. A person may work hard for his boss, appearing to be looking out for his boss, but inside the person is striving to look good for a promotion or a pay raise…selfishness. Many people help another person out just to look like a good person who helps others out, not for the focus of helping that other person out. Many wealthy people give away millions of dollars to the needy every year, not so much to help the people, but to have a tax write-off…selfishness.

This type of action and thoughts occur even inside the church. People teach a Sunday School class to look good or out of guilt, not out of the desire to help others. Some will argue over the color of the carpet for selfish reasons, not for the benefit of others.

Believers are to put others first, just as Jesus did when he died on the cross. He laid His own life down to give life to others and does not charge any one for the price of that death.

Putting others first is not an easy thing to do, because of man’s own selfish nature. People are out for self-preservation, not the needs of others.

As you seek to put others first and their needs above your own, God will meet your needs. God can bring another person into your life to meet your needs, while you are out meeting the needs of another person.

Putting others first is the ultimate show of love that you can show any person. There is no greater love than putting another person above yourself.

Take time to take a look at what you do and why you do. Ask God to reveal you the true reasons behind your actions. Then strive to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit as you trust God.

I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will know God’s love for all people; that you will trust God to meet all of your needs; and that you will allow God to use you to meet the needs of others.

Galatians 5:13 Free To Serve

Serving Others

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13

Freedom is usually seen as all about one’s own self. It is the ability for one to be able to not be under the bondage of another person, to be allowed to do what one wants to do. It is having the ability to make one’s own self happy.

The process of making one’s self happy is usually a selfish, and often sinful way. Man’s heart is always inclined to sin, unless God is allowed to change it. Just the fact that it is usually about pleasing one’s self, makes the action sinful because selfishness, in itself, is a sin.

The majority of the things that the world finds pleasure in are sinful. Getting drunk, sex out of marriage, violence, hate, suffering, pornography, greed, and many more things are the things the world loves, yet are sin. Each of these things appears to please self, even though it is destroying self.

God does not want the believer to live in this same way. Paul states that every believer is called to be free, but not to use that freedom for sin. The freedom that is given to a person is not to be selfish, but to serve someone else.

Jesus came to this earth, not for His own pleasure or to serve Himself or be served, but to serve all mankind. He came to give every person a chance at forgiveness and eternal life. Jesus did not have to do it, but He chose to do it out of love. It is only in love for someone else can a person find the power and ability to serve someone else above himself.

As a believer you are free, but you are not free to do whatever you want as the world does. You have been set free from the bondage of sin to live a life for God and to serve God and others. Just as Jesus put others before Himself, you must also put others before yourself.

As you put others before yourself in service to them, God will put others before you to serve you. He will meet your every need. You will then find the joy and happiness that will last for eternity, not the temporary happiness of this world.

I pray today that you will know the freedom Jesus has given you; that you will know the love God has shown you; that you will show God’s love to others; and that you will serve others as Jesus has served you.

Romans 2:8 Trouble For Selfishness

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But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. Romans 2:8

Throughout this world people are always told that they can have what they want if they work for it. They are told that they can be the best at whatever they do. People are to dream and go for their dreams.

In some countries it is expected that a person will have their own house, car and have a large bank account. If they don’t have those things, they have failed in life.

People get offended very quickly when they do not get what they want. The things that they want can be physical, but it can also be non-physical things. Non-physical things are praise, recognition, position, power, authority, and more.

It is often said that life is all about self, what can self get, or be. They are to look out for ‘old number one’. People will step on others and cut them down in order to look good or to build themselves up. It is all about self.

Paul says that God looks at that as being wrong. People who are self-seeking, all about self, will have trouble in the future. God is holding out for wrath and anger for those who are self-seeking.

Being self-seeking goes against God. God was not self-seeking when He sent Jesus to die on the cross. Jesus was sent for people who had rejected God. Jesus died on the cross so that people could have eternal life.

When a person is self-seeking, he is rejecting the truth of God. God wants all people to be filled with His love, which is not self-seeking, but seeking the good of others.

At times, some believers, get to be selfish. They are offended at the actions of others. They refuse to spread the gospel message and keep it to themselves.

Take a look at your own life and ask yourself if you are being selfish. Do you fight for your own way? Or are you looking out for others?

Do not store up God’s wrath against you, because you have chosen to be selfish and all about self. Seek to build others up and put them before yourself in this life. Put God first, others second, and yourself last. As you do that you honor what God has done for you in Jesus.

I pray today that God will show you what He has done for you; that God will show you ways to build others up; that you will serve God and others above yourself; and that you will not be selfish and against God.

Proverbs 21:2 Weighing The True Motive

A person may think their own ways are right, but the LORD weighs the heart. Proverbs 21:2

Making choices is something at every person does all the time. They must choose what they will do or not do, how to do it, when to do it, and why they will do it. Most will think about what they must choose and make a decision that they feel is the best one, based off of the information that they know about situation.

While doing this is often a good start to making the best decision, it does not always mean that their way is the right one. This is true even if all the right moves are made. There is one factor that many people do not always take into consideration when they are in the process of making a choice for an action. That factor is the motive for the action.

Why do people do what they do?

Why do people make the decisions that they make?

Decisions for an action are often based of selfishness. This even includes doing the right thing. Helping someone who is in need is a good thing to do. But if the purpose for helping that person is selfish, to look good to others, then it becomes the wrong action.

God is able to look at the person’s heart and determine the true reason why he is doing what he is doing. As a believer you are to do everything as unto the Lord. You are to do everything out of love for God and love for others.

In doing everything in this manner, there is no room for selfish reasons. It is not about you and how it makes you look. It is about God and meeting the needs of someone else.

Jesus did not die on the cross just to look good, He was already good and everyone knew it. He died for your sins, so that He could remove your sins. It was all about you, not Himself.

You must live your life in the same way. Ask God to search your heart and reveal what your true motives are. Good actions are not good if not done with the right motive.

What is your motive for your actions today?

I pray today that God will fill you with His love for others; that you will have the same motive for your actions as Jesus did; that God will find your heart being the same as His; and that you will do everything as Jesus would do it.