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Msg. 2: LS of First Thessalonians

Msg. 2: LS of First Thessalonians

Today, January 3, is the second day of the Life-Study reading program. Yesterday, we got off to a great start. On the first day of the reading program, there were 690 saints who had signed up to participate. These 690 saints come from at least 31 countries, including Armenia, Australia, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, China, England, Ethiopia, Fiji, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Paraguay, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, and the United States (31 states and Puerto Rico).

Today’s message is Message Two, which is titled, “Characteristics of a Holy Life for the Church Life.”

The verses covered in this message are 1 Thes. 1:4-10, and the sections in this message are:

I. SELECTED BY GOD

II. PREACHING IN POWER, IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, AND IN MUCH ASSURANCE

III. IMITATORS OF THE APOSTLES AND THE LORD

IV. THE ORIGINATION OF A HOLY LIFE FOR THE CHURCH LIFE

V. THREE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

A. Turning to God from Idols

B. Serving a Living and True God

C. Waiting for the Son of God

If you do not have a copy of this message, you can read it online here.

Please post your reactions to this message and anything related to your experience of reading life-studies below.

49 Responses to Msg. 2: LS of First Thessalonians

  1. Aidan says:

    The origination of the holy life for the church life is the preaching and acceptance of the word.The structure includes the work of faith, the labour of love and the endurance of hope.The contents relates to the structure as the three basic substances of the Christian life: We turn to God and away from idols by faith, We serve a living and true God by love and await His Son from the heavens by hope.

    Lord give us a waiting for your coming spirit, let us have this atmosphere in our living, let our living testify that we are waiting for your coming.

  2. Paula says:

    “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, even as you know what kind of men we were among you.” I enjoyed seeing the connection between the two half of this verse. If we want to announce the gospel in power, in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance, we have to live a life that matches our gospel preaching. “To preach the gospel in this way we must first live Christ and have a manner of life to match the power, the Holy Spirit, and the assurance.”

  3. Jenn Chen says:

    I really enjoyed this message!!! There were so many awesome points but I’ll try to limit it to 2 :) The first point that touched me was that

    “A careless person, one who does not live Christ, cannot preach the gospel in power, in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance. To preach the gospel in this way, we must first live Christ and have a manner of life to match the power, the Holy Spirit, and the assurance. In other words, the power, the Holy Spirit, and the assurance require a certain manner of life. If we do not have the proper living, we shall not have the power, the Holy Spirit, and the assurance in our gospel preaching, for our manner of life will not match these characteristics.”

    It’s so important for us to have a God-man living everyday. This is what will cause our families and friends to realize that our God is living! The second point I enjoyed is that

    “As Christians, we must live a life that declares to others that our hope is not on this earth or in this age. Instead, our hope is in the coming Lord, and our future is in Him. On this earth we do not have any destiny, destination, or future. Our future, our destiny, and our destination are altogether focused on the Lord who is coming.”

    It’s so easy to go along with the culture and tide of this age, but we must have NO hope, desire, or destination other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh Lord!! Gain this in us!!

  4. Doclouie says:

    In message 11 of the recent winter training, our Lord is coming back very soon to recover the whole earth! And in message 6 we see the significance of having an absolute and thorough consecration with its result. 

    “Saints, our hope is in the coming Lord, and our future is in Him. On this earth we do not have any destiny, destination, or future. Our future, our destiny, and our destination are altogether focused on the Lord who is coming. He will be our hope, our future, and our destination. We are going to the Lord, and our destiny is to meet Him!” Praise the Lord!

  5. 李 菲 麗 says:

    This portion has touched me the most. O Lord Jesus, let this be my life and living in reality![How can we prove that God is living? We prove it by our daily life. If God were not living, our daily life would be very different from what it is. Our present living is a testimony that the God whom we serve is living. He is living in us, and He controls us, directs us, and deals with us. He will not let us go. Rather, in many matters He corrects us and adjusts us. The fact that God controls us and directs us, even in small things such as our thoughts and motives, is a proof that He is living. Furthermore, it is by our daily walk that we can prove to our relatives, neighbors, and friends that our God is living.]

    • Grace says:

      Amen! We must live a life which bears the testimony that the God we worship and serve is living in the details of our daily life.

  6. Eduardo Guerero says:

    -Turning to God from idols
    -Serving a living and true God
    -Waiting for the Son of God

    As christian, we must live a life that declares to others that our hope is not on this earth or in this age. Instead, our hope is in the coming Lord, and our future is in Him. On this earth we do not have any destiny, destination, or future. Our future, our destiny and our destination are altogether focused on the Lord who is coming. He will be our hope, our future, and our destination. We are going to the Lord and our destiny is to meet Him. Hallelujah!!!

  7. Neftali says:

    I enjoy that “The apostles not only preached the gospel; they lived it. Their ministering of the gospel was not only by word, but also by a life which displays the power of God, a life in the Holy Spirit and in the assurance of their faith.” So we need to have a life that turn people to God from idols. But how we do that? Well “God must be living to us and in us in our daily life. He should be living in our speech, in our behavior, and in every aspect of our daily life.”

    May we live this kind of life that is in an organic union with God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ while working, serving, taking care of the children in the house while doing everything the people who see us can be turned to God from everything!!!

  8. Hannah T says:

    All the brothers and sisters in the church life are those who were selected by God in eternity past! How precious all the saints are!

  9. Magdalena says:

    Amen.
    After today’s portion I realised much more that if we want to help new believers – first we need to be those who live, care for living realionship with our living God in all aspects of our daily life.
    “The believers do not see the Lord first; they see us first.”

    Praise the Lord – our God is living! and we can be living testimony of our living God!

  10. Sarah Lee says:

    Lord, be more living to me today!

  11. Robert Liu says:

    In 1 Thes. 1:5 we see that the apostles not only preached the gospel; they lived it. Their ministering of the gospel was not only the word, but also by a life which displays the power of God, a life in the Holy Spirit and in the assurance of their faith. What touched me the most was the preaching in the assurance. As we preach the gospel, we need to have the assurance that it is a saving gospel. The gospel we preach is able to save others. After a couple years of experiences I realized that I need to be saved freshly with the word before I went out to speak. It was so crucial to impress myself again with the gospel. What we have in the Lord’s recovery is not low but so high that should meet everyone’s need.

  12. LJM says:

    “On this earth we do not have any destiny, destination, or future. Our future, our destiny, and our destination are altogether focused on the Lord who is coming. He will be our hope, our future, and our destination. We are going to the Lord, and our destiny is to meet Him.”

  13. Alex says:

    I enjoyed that in order for our gospel to have its full impact and power, we must have a living that displays the power of god, a life in the Holy Spirit. The power, the Holy Spirit and the assurance require a certain manner of life. Our life should be one free from idols, living Christ and expecting the Lords return. In this way, our gospel will have impact, and cause the new ones to take us as patterns to also live in such a way.

  14. Nyasha says:

    Msg 1 – I needed to be reminded that ”[t]he church is composed of human beings, but they, the believers, are in the Triune God”. We are visionaries, not idealists and my tongue wouldn’t be so loose if I really saw the intrinsic significance of the church. Lord Jesus, enlighten the eyes of our heart to know the riches of the glory of Your inheritance IN the saints. Praise Him!

    May our Lord Jesus bring us into the experience of faith’s receiving, hope’s reaping and partaking and love’s enjoyment for our nourishment, for building up others and expressing God to the unbelievers!

    Msg 2 – The BEGINNING of the Christian life consists in turning to God from idols. Paul’s preaching of the gospel turned people not only from sin, but also from idols to God. Rather than becoming introspective, I just pray: Lord Jesus turn us from ANY love of pleasure, entertainment and anything/anyone else other than you. Lord, cause all the young adults in the churches to live a life which bears the testimony that the God we worship and serve is LIVING in the DETAILS of our daily life.

  15. Stefan says:

    Wow, what a rich message! I enjoyed the following…
    1. Turning to God from idols – not just turning to God from sins, but from idols! Everyone worships something / someone, even if they are self-proclaimed atheists (who mostly worship themselves). God created us with a spiritual stomach to contain the Triune God – and when we hear the word of the gospel, we are filled with appreciation for Him and drop any other idols to be joined to Him in an organic union! This is the “work of faith”, which joins us to God and strengthens us to drop our idols (who can be anything or anyone that replaces God in our life).

    2. Serving a living and true God – our God is living, and He can be seen as the living God by our living today! He is living now in us, and we love Him – in love, we allow Him to live and be expressed in us. He corrects us, guides us, instructs us, speaks to us, fellowships with us, and lets us know how He feels about every aspect of our living. I was touched by this paragraph, “What about your God? Is He a living God to you? The proper Christian life should bear a testimony that God is living. The reason we do not do or say certain things should be that God is living in us”.

    3. Waiting for the Son of God – we have a hope, the endurance of hope, which is the return of the Lord Jesus that we may meet Him! We don’t live an aimless Christian life, and we are not rooted or grounded in this earth. Our hope is not in the earthly things, in positions, careers, etc, but in the coming of our Lord Jesus! The Lord Jesus is our hope, our future, and our destination!

  16. Lucy Ou says:

    “The foundation of our salvation was not laid in this age; rather, it was laid in eternity past. Based upon His selection, God saves us. Furthermore, with God’s selection as the foundation, the Spirit moves us to believe in Christ. The move of the Spirit in this way is based upon the foundation of selection laid in eternity.” What a reminder! The foundation of my salvation is not on my good behavior or worthiness, but on God’s selection.

    “If we do not have the proper living, we shall not have the power, the Holy Spirit, and the assurance in our gospel preaching, for our manner of life will not match these characteristics.” Oh Lord, my manner of life, bring me in to the reality of not I, but Christ! “Because we are the Lord’s representatives, we need to be a proper pattern. Then others can imitate the Lord by imitating us. This means that through us they imitate Him.”

    “God must be living to us and in us in our daily life. He should be living in our speech, in our behavior, and in every aspect of our daily life.”

    “May we all see from 1 Thessalonians that a proper Christian life for the church life is a life without idols, a life that testifies that our God is living, and a life waiting for the Lord’s coming back.” Lord make this our reality!

  17. perla c. says:

    Wow, what a message! may our Lord Jesus continue to remind us that we need to live a proper Christian life for the church life:

    “May we all see from 1 Thessalonians that a proper Christian life for the church life is a life without idols, a life that testifies that our God is living, and a life waiting for the Lord’s coming back.”

  18. Madelyn M. says:

    Amen, we have turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God.
    Our God is living! How can we prove that God is living? We prove it by our daily life. We need to live under the control, direction, correction, leading, dealing, and adjustment of the Lord. We have to allow him to move and operate in us.

    OH LORD JESUS! Make more home in our hearts! Gain the copperation You need! More and more we would learn to exercise our spirit and allow You to come in and live in us! Oh Lord, as we become Your dwelling place, You become the very life expressed in us! Gain Your testimony for the building of the New Jerusalem!

  19. Julie says:

    I am so touched we can all read these messages together all over the world! It’s the best book club ever! Thank you Lord for all the saints!

  20. Isaac says:

    We need to feed our spirit, our spiritual “stomach” multiple times a day like our physical stomach. We feed our spiritual “stomach” by worshipping.

    But what do we worship? Dead and false idols or the true and living God? It’s good to be reminded that we are always worshipping something.

  21. Paul R. says:

    “The reason we do not do or say certain things should be that God is living in us.”

    Oh Lord, may we be more than morally good Christians! Make us living by the living God!

  22. Anatol says:

    With this message, I was touched about the matter of my living. Our living, which imitates that of the apostles and the Lord, must be a pattern to those around us. We must turn away from idols (which is just anything that we desire or worship other than God) to worship a living and true God. Having a living God means that He operates in us, causing us to do or not do certain things, or to say or not say certain things. Also, we must be those who wait for the Son’s coming, which means that our hope is on something heavenly, not on earthly things. Lord, gain this kind of living from me!

  23. Brian says:

    “On this earth we do not have any destiny, destination, or future. Our future, our destiny, and our destination are altogether focused on the Lord who is coming.”

  24. Daniel says:

    The first characteristic of the Christian life is that we turn to God from idols. Some people claim to be atheists. They say that they do not believe in God or worship Him. Actually, every human being worships something. Everyone has a spirit, a spiritual stomach. Our spirit, our spiritual stomach, is for worshipping God, contacting Him, receiving Him, and containing Him. W.L

    He made us in such a way that we just have no other choice that to contact him. This is really an important matter for us the believers, first to remember this to our self and second by preaching this to others. We have no other choice, we need to feed our spiritual stomach!

  25. Vina says:

    “The fact that God controls us and directs us, even in small things such as our thoughts and motives, is a proof that He is living. ”
    Amen! Lord, control and direct us even in small things !

  26. Nyasha says:

    The BEGINNING of the Christian life consists in turning to God from idols. Paul’s preaching of the gospel turned people not only from sin, but also from idols to God. Rather than becoming introspective, I just pray: Lord Jesus turn us from ANY love of pleasure, entertainment and anything/anyone else other than you. Lord, cause all the young adults in the churches to live a life which bears the testimony that the God we worship and serve is LIVING in the DETAILS of our daily life.

  27. Kim says:

    Our God is living and true! Amen!

    • Gregory Letts says:

      He lives..He lives…Christ Jesus lives today. He walks with me and He talks with me along lifes narrow way. He lives, Amen

  28. Carrie G. says:

    I enjoyed the matter of our God being living to us.This matter is very crucial in the christian life. I have noticed that in myself that there are matters and situations that show that God is not living in this matter.We as believers need to sheperd and be patterns to the new ones and the ask God to be living to us in every aspect of our lives so that we can be proper patterns to the new ones/ new converts that we come in contact with :)

  29. Jessica D. says:

    “The believers do not see the Lord first; they see us first. If we are not a proper pattern or model, it will be difficult for others to see the Lord. Because we are the Lord’s representatives, we need to be a proper pattern. Then others can imitate the Lord by imitating us. This means that through us they imitate Him.”

    Oh Lord! What a commission and responsibility we have as representatives of our Lord Jesus! People need to be able to realize through our living, that our God is living and real and that He is coming back! We need to open to the Lord continually to allow Him to regulate our conduct, so that people will see that there is a divine and wonderful person living within us! And our future and destiny is not in this age or on this earth, our future is an eternal mutual dwelling, a co-habitation with the precious, living, real, Triune God!

    Hallelujah!!!

  30. Mark N. says:

    I enjoyed the three characteristics of the Christian life being: (1) to turn others to God from idols, (2) to have God be living to us in our daily life–in our speech, in our behavior, and in every aspect of our daily life, (3) to live a life that declares to others that our hope is not on this earth or in this age.

  31. “The believers do not see the Lord first; they see us first. If we are not a proper pattern or model, it will be difficult for others to see the Lord.”

    “Do you know what atheists worship? They worship themselves, for they are their own god”

    “When many pursue certain forms of worldly amusement, they act without restraint,[…] In today’s entertainments and amusements there is a great deal of sin.[…] Idols are actually parts of the Devil. They are demons. Behind every idol there is at least one demon. This means that there are demons behind the scene of today’s entertainments, amusements, and pleasures.”

    “The fact that God controls us and directs us, even in small things such as our thoughts and motives, is a proof that He is living.[…] What about your God? Is He a living God to you? The proper Christian life should bear a testimony that God is living. The reason we do not do or say certain things should be that God is living in us.”

    “Worldly people, on the contrary, have the kind of living that gives others the impression that their future is on earth and that their hope, destiny, and destination are all in the present.”

    “Genuine Christians […] declare by their living that they have no hope on this earth, but only in the coming One”

  32. Eunice says:

    I had a fresh appreciation of this matter that our living needs to be a testimony that the God whom we serve is living! As we work or serve, no matter the situation we must realize that God is living in us. He is directing us, controlling us and dealing with us. He is being expressed through us in our speech, our expression, our behavior, and in every aspect of our daily living. May we serve our living God in this way to testify to our friends, family, and co-workers that our God is true and living. May we give the Lord our living that we may testify concerning Him and express Him!

  33. Mariana Nathal says:

    Am I serving the living God? Is He actually living in the details of my daily life? Wow!!!

  34. Ling says:

    The thing that touched me the most in this message was the word LIVING.

    First of all, we need to have a proper LIVING in order to preach the gospel in power, in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance. We need to live the gospel and have a manner of life that matches it. “We must first live Christ and have a manner of life to match the power, the Holy Spirit, and the assurance.”

    Second, we have a LIVING God. “God must be living to us and in us in our daily life. He should be living in our speech, in our behavior, and in every aspect of our daily life. He is living in us, and He controls us, directs us, and deals with us… in many matters He corrects us and adjusts us. We must live a life which bears the testimony that the God we worship and serve is living in the details of our daily life.”

    One other thing I really enjoyed was our SELECTION which was done by God before the foundation of the world. Praise the Lord!

  35. Jennifer says:

    The apostles not only preached the gospel; they lived it. Their ministering of the gospel was not only by word, but also by a life.
    They were the model of the glad tidings they spread.

    If we would preach the gospel in power, in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance, we must have a life to match the kind of gospel preaching.

    We must live Christ that through us, they would imitate Him!

  36. John21 says:

    What a pattern the apostle Paul is to all of us! I am glad he didn’t live a life behind the pulpit merely giving high messages. He was personal and direct with all the believers. The Thessalonians knew what kind of person he was. Thus they came to know the living God. Br. Lee explains, “How can we prove that God is living? We prove it by our daily life. If God were not living, our daily life would be very different from what it is. Our present living is a testimony that the God whom we serve is living. He is living in us, and He controls us, directs us, and deals with us.”
    He was truly the Lord’s representative. His gospel was full of the Holy Spirit, full of power, and with much assurance because of the manner of his life. Such a living is what God’s people need to see today. I believe the Lord’s recovery is blessed today because of Br. Nee’s and Br. Lee’s manner of life. Their living matched the gospel they proclaimed! Praise the Lord! What a glory this is to Him!

  37. Lily Chan says:

    Praise the Lord! We serve a living God!

    I also enjoyed that “On this earth we do not have any destiny, destination, or future.”

    I was just talking to my boss’s wife today. It was my first day back to work (summer job) after spending a semester in FTTH. In our conversation, she says she realises that everyone is so busy with their lives but they don’t know what they’re so busy for. She envies me for knowing what I want and goes for it at a young age. Whoa, thank You Lord for capturing us. Even unbelievers have no destiny, destination or future on this earth! My boss and his wife who seem so successful to me says that they “don’t know what they’re so busy for”. What a privilege that the Lord has shown us the goal that we are running after. Knowing this destiny makes us crazy lovers of Christ!

  38. Samuel C. says:

    In this group of verses (4-10), two points were particularly striking to me. The first is that Paul could write so boldly in verse 5, “even as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.” The second is that the God we need to serve is not only the true God, but the “living and true God,” (v. 9) indicating that God must be living – controlling, directing, dealing – in every aspect of our daily life.

    In fact, these two points are closely related. It was because Paul and his companions were actively serving the living God – that is, caring for His living presence in *every* aspect of their living – that Paul could have such assurance to point to their living among the Thessalonians.

    Lord, make us those who live the gospel by caring for Your moment-by-moment presence. May our living be a pattern of the glad tidings that we spread.

  39. Jessica Lamas says:

    The foundation of our salvation was not laid in this age; rather, it was laid in eternity past. Based upon this selection, God saves us. Furthermore with God’s selection as the foundation, the Spirit moves in us to believe in Christ! We love You Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Spirit moving in us to believe in Christ!

  40. Tim Rodman says:

    O Lord save us, especially in the West, from the entertainment idols.

  41. Wei Sing says:

    How can we prove that God is living? We prove it by our daily life. He should be living in our speech, our behavior and every aspect of our daily life. Amen!

  42. kenneth ting says:

    Praise the Lord. The church is not only of God and of Christ but also is in God and in Christ. What a wonderful revelation.

  43. Chris says:

    Lord Jesus strengthen us to have a proper christian life for the church life. A life without any idol, a life that testifies that our God is living and a life that is waiting for our coming Lord. Lord be living in us today, and may people we contact see You in us. How we thank the Lord for this ministry, praise Him.

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