A Believer’s Walk-2 |

A Believer’s Walk -2 by Rev. Shine P. Thomas

How is Your Walk with The Lord As a Believers?

A Christian believer’s life is compared to a walk

1 Thessalonians 5

Our Christian life is compared to a walk. Last time when we looked at 1 Thessalonians 4, A Believer’s Walk -1

we looked at 5 reasons the Christian life is compared to a walk. We then looked at the first kind of walk, which is the walk of holiness, illustrated in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8.

Today we will take a look at two more walks based on 1 Thessalonians 5.

1. A Believer is to Walk in Love

The walk of love is about our church life or our Christian fellowship with one another. Remember it is not talking about the believers we do not know, it is talking about all believers, not being selective and especially fellow believers who we know and it is difficult to walk in harmony with.

1 John 3:14 

14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.

1 Thessalonians 4:9-10

 9Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you,(Paul begins by saying, I don’t have to say much on this, because you already know what God says about loving one another.)for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10And 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.

Our fellowship, love, and sharing with other believers ought to be more than our friendship with the world. Now how do you know where lies most of your fellowship and love? You can tell a lot about your love by the company they keep, who you are walking mostly with. 

Amos 3:3 

Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?

Our fellowship and love primarily has to be with fellow believers and be sure the devil doesn’t like it and he will bring circumstances to disrupt our harmony.

1 Peter 1:22 

22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.[a]

1 John 4:11-12 

11Dear friends, since God so loved us,we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

To the world much of how a Christian believer’s believes and behaves is foolishness. When we preach against sin we are labelled being narrow-minded and old fashioned. The world says, “Have an open mind, be flexible brother.” When we preach prophecy we are called dreamers just blabbering something. Separation? Fanatics! Tithing? Selfish, money-minded! They say, “My tithe, 10% of my income, that much money could easily increase my standard of living!” They cannot understand that you cannot out give God.

But here’s one quality that the world cannot deny and mistake – It is Brotherly love! They will know we are Christians by our love. They may doubt and mock a lot of our doctrines but not our love. If they see us love one another, love our neighbour, the world cannot deny it.

Infighting within the church is the biggest hindrance for growth. I thank God for the spirit of joy and unity here, the devil does not like it my dear beloved. I thank God for wonderful leadership team here. We have good pastors here, great worship team, technical team, reception team, sales team, Sunday school teachers, ushering team, wonderful believers with a great God And we are all trying to build in the kingdom. We have one agenda – To find and do the will of God!

1 Corinthians 3:3 

13You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 

When the church acts just like the world they cease to be a church, for a true church is built with the bricks of brotherly love.

What words describe a lack of this love? What is the opposite of love? Before telling us the fruit of the sprit that starts with love Paul says in Galatians things some words that are opposite of love. 

Galatians 5:19-21 

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

After speaking the acts of the flesh Paul is speaking about the fruit of the Spirit. 

Galatians 5:22 

22But the fruit of the spirit is love…. The first fruit of the spirit is love. The birthmark of the Christian is walking in love.

Some reminders for Believers to walk in love

a. Love shows restraint, not vengeance

When someone hurt us God tells us to turn the other cheek and ask him to hit. As believer of Jesus, we must be open to be hurt, that is Christian life. Remember, if you love someone truly, there will be instances where you will be hurt by that person. All those who love get hurt at some point or the other. Is it true or not?

That does not mean that we got to go around and ask people to hurt us. No hurt can come in a believers life and we need to be open to that. Jesus was open to hurt. He was publicly insulted many times. Finally, He was crucified like a lamb taken to slaughter. It is not my job to get even or teach somebody a lesson. Even if I get hurt, God is my defender.

Illustration

Have you seen kids fighting? Sam and Grace often fight with each other and sometimes our house becomes a boxing ring. When I question Grace said, “Daddy he started it this time and hit me first.” I say, “Because he started it does not mean that you can hit him the same way.” “Yes, but he did this daddy, if I do not hit him it is not fair, you hit him now.” God is for restraint not for vengeance. Then I ask them, “Tell me who put an end to it?” Sam says, “Daddy I put an end, I gave her enough and that is it, she did not come back.” I said, “No, who put an end to the fight, who brought peace?”

The graduate level of Christianity teaches us to bless those who curse us, love those who hate us, pray for those who use us, and do good to those who are evil to us.

Illustration

Joseph saw his brothers years after in Egypt bow before him. They were responsible for throwing him to the wolves, now standing before him begging for food. He had in his hand the power to make them pay, the power to starve them out. But he gave love, life, land, and blessings to those who had wished him dead. He gave grace to the ones who gave him no grace, they were graceless. He chose restraint over vengeance.

b. Love is courteous, not selfish

Many live their lives cafeteria style: self-serve only. They are all about themselves. We believers need some deference, not selfishness in life. When you are courteous to someone you prefer them above yourself, giving them priority, it is opposite of selfishness.

Illustration

A little boy and his sister had on a wooden rocking horse toy. As they grew bigger, they are cramped for space, now they are trying to share. The boy finally said, “If you would just get off there’d be more room for me!”

That is our attitude, me always. Some Christians are only content if they get their own way.

Illustration

Abraham opened his home to his nephew, Lot. Initially, Abraham clothed him, fed him, and housed him. Lot became rich, his servants and cattle grew and multiplied. And when it came time for them to part company Abraham said, “Lot you chose.” Lot chose the best land as Abraham showed courtesy to him. Abraham was left with the barren land but the Bible says God blessed Abraham above Lot.

Harmony flourishes in the church and in family where each prefers the other over himself with brotherly love.

Romans 12:10

10Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

1 Peter 3:8 

8Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble (courteous).

1 Corinthians 13:13 

13And now these three remain Faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

2. Believers Walk in honesty

Joke

A husband and wife are getting ready to go to a wedding. The wife is standing in front of a full-length mirror taking a hard look at herself. “You know, dear,” she says, “I look in the mirror and I see an old woman. My face is all wrinkled, hair all grey, the skin is aging.

She turns to her husband and says, “Honestly tell me something good to make me feel better about myself.” He studies looks at her for a moment thinking about it and then says in a soft, thoughtful voice, “Well, there’s nothing wrong with your eyesight.”

Believers are to be honest in all their dealings. Be a man or woman of integrity.

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 

11And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; 12That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

Here the Bible is talking about 2 types of honesty.

a. Be honest to one another

See how these words begin: Ye study to be quiet. Mind your own business. Be quiet, don’t gossip.

Some people love to tell things and stories about others. They never care if the facts are right or wrong. This is also called as gossip, carrying rumours, or tail bearing.

1 Timothy 5:13 

13Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.

The Bible talks strongly about people who carry news from one place to another, spend time in gossip that is non-productive. The next time you enjoy someone’s gossip remember anyone who gossips to you will gossip about you tomorrow. Please do not allow your ears to become someone’s dust bin. Now, some people get to know all the news that is happening around. That is because they are sending a signal ‘I’m willing to listen to any garbage you want to drop off.’

Child of God it is time we stop. You must understand the accuracy of our gossip may not be right. By the time a message passes through 2 persons the accuracy of the story is questionable. We often end up conveying the wrong message in gossip.

Illustration

A butcher and a surgeon are alike but different. They both cut meat, but for different reasons. So it is with gossip and a true friend with genuine talk. Both cut on one another, but with very different motives and many different results.

Proverbs 27:17 

17As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. 

This can be taken as constructive and destructive talk. Gossip cuts another person and destroys. Some people cut people so badly, backhanded compliment, sarcastic talks, how it hurts. In the same way, a friend’s word can sharpen you for your good.

Illustration

Teddy Roosevelt’s family was rearing cow in his younger days. The cows were branded then with the owner’s seal like in India. One day as he was taking care of his herd with a servant, they came across a stray calf. His servant caught it and started preparing to brand it. “What are you doing?” Roosevelt asked. “I know my duty…always put your boss’ brand on stray calves. “Stop your work, get your pay, and leave,” Roosevelt said. “Anyone who would steal for me would steal from me.”

That is the same with gossip, anybody who would gossip to you would gossip about you. So be quiet, talk constructively, don’t gossip.

1 Thessalonians 4:11 

11And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.

b. Be honest at your work place

Here’s the background: These new believers at Thessalonica were living in light of the Lord’s coming and they were expecting it at any moment. Remember this is nearly 2000 years ago. They were supposed to live in the light of the Lord’s coming like we live, but they were extreme in doctrine and quit their jobs, and most of them had to be taken care by others who still had work and money. They were exploiting the working people whereas the ones who left their jobs got into gossip and unwanted talk and wasted their time.

Look at the parallel passage here…

2 Thessalonians 3:10-12

10For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 11For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 12Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

What do we understand? You can be a great Christian testimony by just being a hard worker, a good employee. Our walk with God is also applicable in our workplace. 

Romans 12:11 

11Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.

You can be a great Christian testimony walking the walk of honesty at workplace. It is so sad that even Christians lie and cheat in business, cut on their taxes, and are dishonest regarding their work.

1 Thessalonians 4:12 

12That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing. ‘Them that are without’ (that is lost, that is the people of the world without honesty.) Yes, they are dishonest but they can be reached through your good honest integrity.

Illustration

A convention speaker was speaking in a convention. The next day he took a city bus, giving the conductor money for the ticket. He sat down and looked at his change. He had 1 Rupee more. At first, he thought it was okay, 1 Rupee does not make much of a difference. Then he realized that wasn’t honest and approached the conductor. “You accidentally gave me 1 Rupee more.” “It was no accident,” he replied. “I was in the convention yesterday when you preached ‘thou shalt not steal’…I just wanted to make sure you really believed it.” He walked away and said, “I just sold my integrity for 1 Rupee. It is really worth more than that.”

What is the point for this walk?

How is your walk today? We need to walk in holiness. Walk in Love and walk in honesty. Be honest to one another and be honest at our workplace. Let’s walk at our home, church, workplace by these walks and there is more to go. What is the point for this walk? It is to walk with God all the time, 24 hours a day. That he might increase and we might decrease. That God take over more and more areas of our life truly be our Lord.

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