Raising The Bar

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Today’s Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4

Much of the fourth chapter in 1 Thessalonians emphasizes living to please God.

1 Thessalonians 4:1
Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more.

Paul is “urging” those in Thessalonica to “do so even more.” Now there is a challenge! To “live in a way that pleases God … do so even more.” Some may ask, “How will I know when enough is enough?”

There was a time when that question surfaced in my mind. But it has been replaced with the reality  that there is no end to “do so even more” this side of heaven. Thankfully, for me, that reality is not a burden in the least. That reality is quite the opposite—it is a relief!

The inner weavings of Scripture make an undeniably profound impact on this soul. Micah 6:8 is one such passage:  “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Please note, this is not a multiple-choice statement. This passage does NOT imply one selection is all that is required.

Thankfully, God does not turn his back on me when I fail “to do so even more.” He also does not beat me with a stick to perform (behave) a certain way. But, as my personal relationship with him deepens, my genuine desire to live in a way that pleases him deepens. When my desire to please God intensifies, Satan’s animus toward me intensifies.

This never-ending spiritual battle for my soul compels me to continue on the path presented by Jesus in Matthew 7:13-14.  “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”

Embracing the opportunity (not requirement) to “live in a way that pleases God … do so even more” truly is a privilege.

Questions:
What paths in your spiritual journey need rerouting? Is there a path where a U-turn would benefit you and others in your life?

Next Steps:
Pray and ask God to reveal specific areas hindering your ability to please him “even more.”  Examine the things battling for the devotion of your heart. Pray for his strength to infuse you where currently there is a lack of strength.

Prayer: 
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me and accepting me where I am on my spiritual journey. It is my desire to live in a way that pleases you. Stretch me beyond myself in living for you in all areas of life. I invite you into my life to show me how to trust you more, love you deeper, and grow my faith. May the changes be evident to those closest to me. Amen. 


This post was written by Karen Peck, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.


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1 reply
  1. Julie
    Julie says:

    Great advice Karen! Doing even more isn’t a struggle when it comes from a place of love for God! Thanks for inspiring me today!

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