The scripture reading for today is 1Thessalonians 4, 1 – 18. Quoted here are verses 9 – 12:
“9 Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more.
11 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” (NIV)
Before getting started, I want to mention that I know some of us have no choice but to be dependent on others to meet even the most basic of needs. If someone reading this falls into that category, please know that I pray for your every need to be met and if there is anything I can do, feel free to use the email listed below to contact me.
At the time of Paul’s writing, the church at Thessalonica was doing pretty well, and yet he was urging them to do more. I can almost see the words growing on the page. You need to do more, and More, and MORE!!! But isn’t it peculiar that Paul goes on to give an example of doing more that flies in the face of being BIGGER and LOUDER?
As soon as Paul makes his request, he proceeds to instruct the members of the church at Thessalonica to lead quiet lives, as if this is indeed a way to do more. To me, this says that one way to excel for Jesus is to strive daily keep my own house in order, to live out my days in a faithful and predictable manner. I would like to be that person who quietly but consistently shines that light of Jesus so others will see and want what I’ve got.
In trying to be people that attract others to Christ, it is important to think about what compels us to follow Him. I know sometimes it may feel like a brick on the head is needed to awaken us to change our ways. But more often, I think He uses gentle beckoning, a love that will not let us go. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. Quiet is attractive. Here’s a hymn by Will Thompson to help us reflect upon our Savior, and how He draws us to Himself:
“Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching
Watching for you and for me.
Come home, come home,
Ye who are weary come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home.”
Dear Lord, help us to be people that quietly and generously reflect Your love to this broken world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Juli Hampton Ham10five@gmail.com
Prayer Concern: for those who do have to rely on others for food and shelter to know just how incredibly valuable they are to our Heavenly Father and to our world.