This is Your Life
This is Your Life
For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come. (1Thessalonians 1:8-10)
There was a radio show in the 1950s [later a television show in the 1960s, and still later in 1971-72], called, “This is Your Life.” Each episode examined, by surprise, someone’s life [celebrity or not]. Our life is going to be examined as well. The Christians in Thessalonica show what the Christian life is—what your life should be if you call yourself a Christian. In 1Thessalonians 1:9-10 we read the revealing statement. From this paragraph we can easily see that the Christian life is a three-fold life. Is it yours?
A Turned Life
The Christian life is a changed life. These had turned or changed from idols to the serving of the living and true God (1Thessalonians 1:9). Perhaps these had to make a bigger turn than many, but all have to change to serve the living and true God, for all have been servants of sin in the past. These Thessalonians had received and obeyed the gospel to effect this change: “our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction” (1Thessalonians 1:5) and, “It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us” (2Thessalonians 2:14-15). It was to these very people that Paul wrote saying that Christ is coming again to take vengeance upon those who do not obey the gospel (2Thessalonians 1:7-8). When people obey the gospel, they begin a new life (Romans 6:3-4). At this point they are new creatures (2Corinthians 5:17). From this time onward, these new creatures are to live a changed life as they seek the things which are above (Colossians 3:1-2). Truly, the Christian life must be a turned life.
A Serving Life
The Christian life is also to be a serving life. These Thessalonians had, in times past, served idols. At the time of the writing of this letter, they were serving the living and true God (1Thessalonians 1:9). This service is outlined in 1Thessalonians 1:3: “constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father.” A servant is to serve. The life of a Christian is not depicted as one of ease. It is to be a life of service. Jesus described a life of following him like this: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26). True greatness comes with service. Again Jesus said: “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave” (Matthew 20:26-27). Whatever is required by the Lord is the service to be rendered. Remember! The Christian life is to be a serving life.
A Waiting Life
From this passage we also notice that the Christian life is to be a waiting life. The Thessalonians were waiting for Jesus. They were waiting for him to rescue them from the wrath to come (1Thessalonians 1:10). The word “wait” carries the idea of looking for and waiting for with patient and confident expectation. Jesus told his apostles he would come again: “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3). At Jesus’ ascension, the angels also promised that Jesus would come again (Acts 1:11). In this letter, a little further on than our text, Paul promised that Jesus would come again (1Thessalonians 4:13-18). These people understood this. As already noted from the second letter, they understood what Jesus would do when he comes again—that he would give rest to those who had been troubled and that he would recompense tribulation to those who opposed him (2Thessalonians 1:6-7). All the life of a Christian is spent in waiting for Christ to come again, but as he waits he serves faithfully. Truly, we wait and watch for His return.
This is the life of a Christian. Is this your life?