Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How We Live

 1 Thessalonians 3:8 For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord.

8 ὅτι νῦν ζῶμεν ἐὰν ὑμεῖς στήκετε ἐν κυρίῳ.

Paul is writing about how he was concerned for the Thessalonians. He was afraid that they had fallen to the temptation that Satan threw at them. This is how he sums it all up. The word he uses in hope is στήκετε. This word is derived from a word derived from ἵστημι, which indicates strength. That is why it has the sense of standing firm or persevering. In other words, the Thessalonians' perseverance was life to Paul.

I had a hard time relating to this until I got involved in a church plant. The more I interact with people the more I appreciate this. I didn't go to seminary for my sake. I went to seminary so that I could more accurately preach and teach God's Word and help people. I do not exist for myself either. No Christian does. My job is to die to myself daily to help others live. There is nothing so encouraging as trying to help someone and see the good effects of that help.

Of course, this also  means that we need to be ready for the converse. There will be times when people do not stand fast and that will be like a slow death to us. Sometimes it will be like a punch in the stomach. You can't have the good without the bad. Nevertheless, I think that Paul clearly emphasizes the positive here. Seeing the Thessalonians live served as a great encouragement to him.

Hopefully anyone out there reading this loves his pastor and wants to serve him. We cannot manufacture obedience to the Word, but when it is manifested in our lives it most certainly is an encouragement to your pastor.

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