1 Thessalonians 1
I think we all want to make a difference. In our own lives, in the lives of others, in our community. 2009 is upon us. How can we be a church that makes a difference in 2009? It will not happen naturally or easily. There is too much against us! The world, our Enemy, our Selves! Going to take a lot to overcome and gain new ground!
1. Work Hard. (3) Romans 15:4-5 “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.”
2. Serve Well (3)(Faith, Love, Hope – three great motives for service) 1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
3. Believe Deeply (4-5a) (loved, chosen, empowered, convicted) Requires study, but also faith that acts … faithfulness even when there is a struggle to do what is right.
4. Love Together (5b-7) (cooperation, influence) Imitated Paul / became model for others
5. Live Loud (8-10) (rang the message out, testimony of faithfulness)
– Repentance – turned to God from idols
– Return – waiting for his return from heaven
– Rescue – He rescues us from the coming wrath
We seem to think that Jesus is coming to take us away from what we love – but He is coming to rescue us from the wrath of God and destruction of the world as we know it.
Each of us should pray about these areas of commitment, and ask God to empower us to do them.
(Audio of this message can be found HERE.)