1 Thessalonians 2 Commentary Verses 9-12

Explaining the Book
1 Thessalonians 2 Commentary Verses 9-12
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I’d like to jump right into our text for this evening. We’ll be studying 1 Thessalonians 2:9-12. So, please join me there.

We’re going to read this passage. Then we’ll discover the main message. And then we’ll get into the details.

1 Thessalonians 2:9–12 AV 1873

9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.

10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:

11 as you know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,

12 that ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

So, let’s get the overarching message of this passage together.

The driving emphasis of the whole text is found at the beginning of verse 12. “That ye would walk worthy of God”. Walking is a metaphor for your life. And describing that walk or that life as “worthy” is a way of saying that it’s pleasing to God.

Christians then are to be motivated to live your life in a way that pleases God.

[S] So, the thrust of the passage is: “Live Your Life for God”. You are to be preoccupied with pleasing God in this life. So, that’s the main message here.

And then the points of this message are found in how that emphasis of living for God impacts your life.

•           We’re going to see in verse 9 that living for God impacts Your Work-Ethic.

•           Verse 10 tells us that living for God impacts Your Character.

•           In verse 11 we’ll discover that it impacts Your Verbal Interactions.

•           And in verse 12 we’ll see that living for God impacts Your Outlook on Life.

So, let’s consider Living Your Life for God and the impacts of that in your life.

Tying 1 Thessalonians 2:9 to What We’ve Seen

First though, we need to consider how what we’re going to be studying tonight relates to what we’ve previously seen in this book.

There are two concepts that Paul has touched-on already - that are now going to be mentioned and kind of all tied together in verse 9.

The Gospel

First is the idea of Paul’s preaching the gospel to the Thessalonians.

•           Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 1:5 that this gospel came to the Thessalonians accompanied by power and with the Holy Spirit and with a great deal of assurance.

•           We heard that Paul and Silas came to Thessalonica after being beaten and mistreated in Philippi. And despite that, they were bold in their God to proclaim that same gospel - that earned them a beating in Philippi - to the folks in Thessalonica despite the fact that even in Thessalonica the apostles experienced a lot of opposition. (1 Thessalonians 2:2)

•           Paul and Silas were entrusted by God with this gospel (1 Thessalonians 2:4). And so they sought to please God in how they communicated it.

•           And the last word we had on this matter of the gospel was that Paul and Silas loved the Thessalonians so much that they were willing not only to give them this gospel - but to also give them their lives. (1 Thessalonians 2:8).

•           And that all ties in to what we’re going to consider in verse 9 where we’ll see that Paul and Silas preached the gospel to the Thessalonians while the apostles were also engaged in a great deal of work and labor.

So, that’s the first theme that finds some degree of climax in what we’re going to be studying tonight - the gospel.

Being Burdensome

The second theme that connects what we’ve already seen in this letter to what we’re going to see now is the matter of being a burden.

•           We heard in 1 Thessalonians 2:7 that Paul and Silas could have been a burden to the Thessalonians by asserting and demanding their legitimate rights as apostles. But they didn’t do that.

•           And then we’ll see tonight in verse 9 that the reason that Paul and Silas worked so much as they were giving the gospel to the Thessalonians was due to their desire to not be a burden - financial or otherwise - to these relatively new believers.

So, the gospel and Paul’s refusal to be a burden to these believers are the two themes that find kind of their culmination in verse 9. That’s how we enter this section of the letter from where we’ve been.

Verse 9

1 Thessalonians 2:9 AV 1873

9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.

So, let’s get into the details of verse 9.

In this verse, Paul is going to speak of a gospel ministry that is free of charge - no financial burden on those who receive it.

And in relation to Paul’s emphasis in this passage on Living Your Life for God, we see in verse 9 how this emphasis affects your Work Ethic.

For ye remember, brethren, ‍‍our labour and travail

First of all, in this verse, Paul reminds the Thessalonians of something they would have certainly remembered. He says:

For ye remember, brethren, ‍‍our labour and travail

9 Μνημονεύετε γάρ, ἀδελφοί, τὸν κόπον ἡμῶν καὶ τὸν μόχθον·

For ye remember

The Thessalonians remembered the work ethic of Paul and Silas - just like Paul and Silas remembered certain admirable actions of the Thessalonians back in 1 Thessalonians 1:3.

And in that passage, Paul and Silas were remembering the Thessalonians’ 1) work of faith, 2) labor of love, and 3) endurance of hope.

So, what are the Thessalonians remembering about Paul and Silas here in 1 Thessalonians 2:9?

Our labor

First of all, they remembered the labor of Paul and Silas.

This is referring to any work - physical or spiritual in nature. And the emphasis of this term seems to be on the aspect of exhaustion associated with such work.

The work that Paul and Silas were engaged in so that they could minister spiritually to these believers was exhausting to them. And he admits that it was like that.

And travail

And that word for exhausting work is coupled here with this other word travail.

This is a word whose associated ideas all have to do with difficulty.

So, Paul is saying here in verse 9 that the Thessalonians could remember that Paul and Silas had been engaged in difficult exhausting work among them.

Why this emphasis?

Now, why do you suppose that Paul is needing to remind the Thessalonians of his and Silas’ work ethic when he was among them?

I think the answer to that question is found not so much in this letter to the church in Thessalonica - but in the second letter.

In 2 Thessalonians 3:6 Paul has to tell those believers to withdraw from every brother who lives a disorderly life and doesn’t follow Paul’s instructions. And then he makes it clear that one area that he was aware of people violating this rule of walking orderly had to with a refusal on the part of some to work. And in that passage, Paul exhorts them the exact same way as he does here in 1 Thessalonians 2:9 - by giving them his own example.

With new believers - like the Thessalonians were - there are some things you need to address right away. And then there are other things you can maybe just ignore. But then there are other times when you might just put forward your own example to them - hoping they catch the hint - and knowing that eventually that thing might need to be directly addressed if they don’t pick up the clues that you’re sending from your own example.

I think that’s what we see Paul doing here.

So, Paul was aware that the Thessalonians - at least some of them - had a problem with working hard. And Paul’s response to them is in effect - “Look at me and Silas - and imitate us in our exhausting and difficult labor among you.

we preached unto you the gospel of God

Well, how did that exemplary work ethic manifest itself?

we preached unto you the gospel of God

ἐκηρύξαμεν εἰς ὑμᾶς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ θεοῦ. 

Certainly - despite what some might think - preaching the gospel takes work and effort.

Paul even likens preaching the gospel to “running” in Galatians 2:2.  It takes hard work and endurance to do it right.

for ‍‍labouring ‍‍night and day

But Paul and Silas weren’t just ministering the word to the Thessalonians when they came to them - as difficult as that can be.

On top of word-based gospel ministry, Paul and Silas were also involved in hard physical work - as we’ve already seen - and which Paul sees fit to repeat here again in a different way. He says that they preached the gospel:

for ‍‍labouring ‍‍night and day

νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας ἐργαζόμενοι

And again you get the sense of exhausting work here. Paul and Silas were working day and night.

So, in addition to proclaiming God’s truth to the Thessalonians, Paul and Silas were also working constantly and tirelessly with their hands.

because we would not ‍‍be chargeable unto any of you

But why all the tireless constant manual labor as Paul and Silas preached the gospel to the Thessalonians? Answer:

because we would not ‍‍be chargeable unto any of you

πρὸς τὸ μὴ ἐπιβαρῆσαί τινα ὑμῶν

So, the purpose of Paul and Silas’ constant work while they were with the Thessalonians was so that the apostles would not be excessively burdensome to those believers.

This gets back to what Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 2:6. The word translated back there as “burdensome” in our KJV is related to the word “chargeable” here in verse 9.

Paul and Silas would have been justified in demanding their right to be compensated for their spiritual work among the Thessalonians. They could have been a burden in that sense to that group of believers. But instead Paul and Silas were gentle with them.

And so, what we’re reminded of here is that Paul and Silas were working double-duty when they visited the Thessalonians. They were working in both the spiritual and physical realms. And they were working physically in order that they could minister spiritually.

Your Work Ethic

So, as you Live Your Life for God and urge others to do the same, it will impact your work ethic. The way that you work and the attitude that you bring with you to every endeavor that you undertake is a part of living for God.

And this doesn’t apply only to the work you do for a living. Living for God will show itself in how you work for God’s people - how you minister in this church - how you serve your family and friends.

Your work might be characterized as memorable, tireless, selfless, even gospel-fueled or gospel-focused - like Paul’s was.

And if your work ethic comes anything close to those ideals, that’s great reason to thank God for helping you Life You Life for Him.

So, we’ve seen the commendable work ethic of Paul and Silas.

Verse 10

1 Thessalonians 2:10 AV 1873

10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:

And not only does Living Your Life for God impact your Work Ethic. It also impacts Your Character. That’s what we see in verse 10.

how ‍‍holily and ‍‍justly and ‍‍unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe

So, Paul now wants to highlight his character when he and Silas came to the Thessalonians. He remarks:

how ‍‍holily and ‍‍justly and ‍‍unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe

ὡς ὁσίως καὶ δικαίως καὶ ἀμέμπτως ὑμῖν τοῖς πιστεύουσιν ἐγενήθημεν

Paul and Silas were model Christians among the new Thessalonian believers.

how ‍‍holily … we behaved

Paul and Silas behaved in a holy manner.

That term is used to describe Jesus as well. And though ultimately only God is completely holy (Revelation 15:4) in his unmatched uniqueness as compared to everything that he’s created - believers who are being changed more and more into the image of his Son can be - and are - described as “holy”.

You are called to be unique for God’s sake in this world. You are called to be holy.

how ‍‍justly … we behaved

Paul and Silas also conducted themselves justly among the Thessalonians.

They were righteous among those believers. They fulfilled all their proper obligations. What would have been expected of them - they fulfilled.

And that can be your testimony as well before others - that you fulfill your reasonable obligations to others.

how ‍‍unblameably … we behaved

And Paul and Silas were blameless among the believers in Thessalonica.

They weren’t sinless. But no one could legitimately find a credible cause to accuse them of doing wrong.

Ye are witnesses, and ‍‍God also

And Paul was confident that both God and the Thessalonians would have been aware of their blameless, just, righteous character. He says:

Ye are witnesses, and ‍‍God also

10 ὑμεῖς μάρτυρες καὶ ὁ θεός,

Why the highlighting of character again?

But this is now just one more time that Paul has highlighted the personal character of himself and Silas in this short letter thus far.

And as I was studying through this, I wondered why Paul’s again saying basically something very similar to what he’s said at least a few times already in this short letter.

Back in 1 Thessalonians 1:5 and for a good deal of chapter 2, Paul already highlighted his character while he was with the Thessalonians.

Why? Why does Paul need to keep coming back to his character and putting it on display before the Thessalonians’ minds’ eyes?

I think that Paul - though he was very thankful for the spiritual development of these believers - he was seeing some need in their life in this area of character. Just like he saw needs in their lives regarding hard work, he also sees some characters flaws that are not quite godly.

We’re going to see in chapter 4 of this letter that Paul will need to exhort these genuine believers concerning their sexual purity.

There’s also a hint in chapter 4 - and much more stated in the second letter to the Thessalonians - that some of the believers in that city were prone to laziness - as we mentioned earlier.

So, in light of those character flaws in the Thessalonians, you can see why Paul keeps subtly bringing up the issue of his and Silas’ example of hard work and godly character.

Your Character

So, as you’re Living Your Life for God, this must impact Your Character.

You'll want your character to be genuinely holy and righteous and blameless. You’re not perfect. You haven’t arrived. But you’re growing in the godliness of your godly. And you’ll be serving as an example to others as you remind them of the importance of living this life for God.

Verse 11

1 Thessalonians 2:11 AV 1873

11 as you know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,

So, as you Live Your Life for God, you’ll see that approach’s impact on Your Work-Ethic and Your Character. You’ll also see an impact on Your Verbal Interactions according to verse 11.

And let me show you how verse 10 flows into verse 11.

Similar to what the Thessalonians could testify-to concerning Paul and Silas’ character, they also knew very well the fatherly verbal communication of Paul and Silas that urged those believers to walk worthy of God’s glorious eternal call.

as you know

Paul says:

as you know

11 καθάπερ οἴδατε

So, just as the Thessalonians knew and could testify to Paul and Silas’ exemplary character, they also knew the following.

how we exhorted and ‍‍comforted and charged every one of you, ‍‍as a father doth his children

They knew:

how we exhorted and ‍‍comforted and charged every one of you, ‍‍as a father doth his children

ὡς ἕνα ἕκαστον ὑμῶν ὡς πατὴρ τέκνα ἑαυτοῦ  παρακαλοῦντες ὑμᾶς καὶ παραμυθούμενοι καὶ μαρτυρόμενοι,

So, Paul and Silas exercised something of a fatherly ministry among the Thessalonians.

In our last message in this letter we saw Paul comparing himself to a nursing mother.

And now in this passage he completes the parental metaphor and acknowledges that not only did he and Silas act as mothers - they also treated the Thessalonians as a father would address his children. In fact, that phrase “his/her children” appears in both of these passages - verse 7 and verse 11.

So, how does a father - literal or metaphorical - who’s living for God - verbally communicate with his children?

Paul mentions three aspects of his verbal communication with the Thessalonians. Just like his character in verse 10 was described with three words, so too in this verse he describes his verbal communication with three words.

We … Exhorted … Every One of You

First, Paul exhorted the Thessalonians.

This word has a range of meanings including comforting, beseeching, urging, and of course exhorting. It’s found 8 times in this letter alone.

•           Paul and Silas sent Timothy to comfort the Thessalonians concerning their faith (1 Thessalonians 3:2).

•           The faith of the Thessalonians comforted Paul and Silas when they heard the believers in that city were standing firm (1 Thessalonians 3:7).

•           But Paul and Silas and Timothy wanted to exhort those believers by this letter to live more and more in a manner that pleases God - especially in the area of sexual purity (1 Thessalonians 4:1).

•           And also in the area of love for one another (1 Thessalonians 4:10). Not that they weren’t loving one another. They were. But Paul just wanted them to do that more and more.

•           Paul and Silas and Timothy wanted the Thessalonians to comfort one another with their words concerning the rapture of the church (1 Thessalonians 4:18) and concerning the wonderful future reality of being with our Lord who loves us (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

•           And Paul and Silas and Timothy exhort the Thessalonians to warn the unruly, to comfort the feebleminded, to support the weak, and to be patient toward all men (1 Thessalonians 5:14).

So, Paul and Silas and Timothy were doing these things with the Thessalonians. They were exhorting and comforting them as a father would do with his children.

We … Comforted … Every One of You

Then Paul uses another word translated as comfort to describe his verbal communication with the Thessalonians.

This word is used concerning how we as Christians ought to treat a group of people known as “the feebleminded” (1 Thessalonians 5:14). That word actually describes individuals who are “discouraged”. They are literally “little of soul”. Their courage and inner strength are sapped. They want to quit.

What do folks who are discouraged need? According to the Scripture they need - this - comfort, which is what Paul was doing with these believers in Thessalonica.

This word also appears in the context of Mary grieving the death of her brother Lazarus in John 11. There were Jews from the area who came to comfort her concerning the loss of her brother.

And this is what a father does with his children. As they experience loss in whatever form and they’re discouraged and crestfallen, it’s the job of us fathers to comfort our children concerning their loss or pain or difficulty.

This is one more action that the Apostle Paul took with these believers in Thessalonica. As they experienced loss and discouragement he comforted them.

We … Charged … Every One of You

And lastly, Paul charged them.

This is the act of soberly warning and admonishing others concerning some serious truth. This word is translated elsewhere in the New Testament as “take to record”, “witness”, and “testify”.

And there are times as fathers where you need to do this with your children. You need to lay before them the reality that if they take a certain course of action, there will be certain consequences. Because God said there would be.

And that’s really where our certainty comes as we charge our children - or those whom we’re discipling - from God’s testimonies. And our job as fathers or mentors is to simply and with great assurance point our children and other to what God has said. Both what he wants of them - and what will happen if they follow him or if they reject him.

Paul says in Ephesians 4:17 that he testified to those believers in Ephesus that they need to stop living like lost people. You need to put off old sinful practices, renew your mind with the Scripture, and put on new righteous ways of living. For example, he says:

•           Instead of lying, speak truth.

•           Instead of sinful endless anger, get things resolved before the end of the day. Otherwise, the devil may get an opportunity in your life.

•           Instead of stealing, work to provide for others.

•           Instead of speaking in such a way that corrupts others, use your words to build others up.

•           Instead of being bitter and angry and at odds with everyone, be kind and compassionate and forgiving. Because God has taken the same approach with you in Christ.

This list from Ephesians 4 is just an example of how Paul surely would have charged the believers in Thessalonica like a father would do to his children.

Your Verbal Interactions

And so, as you Live Your Life for God, it will surely impact your Verbal Interactions.

•           There will be a new sobriety in your speech.

•           The content of that speech will oftentimes be focused on God and his word and his desire in the lives of your hearers.

•           Your verbal communication can take on a fatherly approach - even if you aren’t literally a father. The Apostle Paul wasn’t a literal father. But his speech came to be characterized by how a father speaks to his children - the firmness and directness and love.

•           You will take time to communicate individually to people - because every one of them is important in God’s sight.

And as you see these realities more and more present in your verbal communication with others, you will rejoice that God is doing this in you as you Live Your Life for Him.

Because Living Your Life for God will impact your Verbal Interactions with others.

Verse 12

1 Thessalonians 2:12 AV 1873

12 that ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

And you know that you yourself have come to adopt this approach of Living Your Life for God when your work ethic, character, and speech all together lead others to adopt that same approach to living. Others catch Your Outlook on Life. That’s the last area mentioned here that’s impacted by living your life for God -  your outlook on life.

So, what was the purpose of Paul and Silas’ exhorting and comforting and charging those believers in Thessalonica?

that ye would walk worthy of God, ‍‍who hath called you unto ‍‍his kingdom and glory

Here it is:

12 that ye would walk worthy of God, ‍‍who hath called you unto ‍‍his kingdom and glory

εἰς τὸ περιπατεῖν ὑμᾶς ἀξίως τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ καλοῦντος ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν ἑαυτοῦ βασιλείαν καὶ δόξαν. 

walk worthy of God

All the verbal urging and comfort and encouragement was aimed at the Thessalonians’ “walking worthy”.

This is one of three times in the New Testament where Paul urges believers to walk worthy. He’s encouraging believers on to greater levels of living (indicated by the metaphor of “walking”) in such ways as please the Lord (described as “worthy”).

•           In Ephesians 4, Paul exhorts that you walk worthy of your calling. This is to include a great deal of humility in your heart. You’re to be lovingly patient with others. You’re to be peacefully unified. And all of that is to be done especially with other believers.

•           In Colossians 1, Paul reveals that he prayed for those believers in that city to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in order that they would walk worthy of the Lord - that they would live lives that were pleasing to God. Paul prayed that the believers would be strengthened to endure and be patient with joy - and to be constantly thankful to God.

So, the purpose of Paul’s fatherly verbal and personal admonitions to believers was that they would live in such a way as would please the Lord.

Now, why is it important to please the Lord?

who hath called you

You need to remember that he has called you.

At the end of this letter, Paul prays that the Thessalonians would be completely sanctified (or “made holy”) and that they would be kept entirely blameless for the coming of Jesus Christ. And he adds - “He who calls you is trustworthy, and he will in fact do this.” God’s calling of you leads him to lead you to the end.

God is referred to as “him that calleth” in Romans 9:12 in the context of spiritual salvation. He’s referred to that way again in Galatians 5:8 with the extra emphasis of people trying to persuade believers away from that one who saved them spiritually.

So, God has called you to salvation. He’ll see you through to the end.

But Paul puts it in a unique way here in 1 Thessalonians 2.

unto ‍‍his kingdom and glory

Paul describes being saved from your sin as being called by God “unto his kingdom and glory”.

Called to God’s Kingdom

You have been called to God’s kingdom.

You and I are so used to the kingdoms of this world.

We don’t give our country this label, but in a sense you live in the “kingdom” of the United States of America. There’s a king - which in our case isn’t a single monarch, but rather three branches of government supposed to be guided by its founding document the Constitution. And this “king” rules over this kingdom.

But as you know, unfortunately, Satan rules here as well - as he does over every kingdom of the world.

[S] He actually says that he rules over all the kingdoms of the world in Luke 4:5-7:

Luke 4:5–7 AV 1873

5 And the devil, taking him up into a high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. 7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

And Jesus doesn’t contradict or argue with him on this point.

Paul actually calls Satan “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

So, the point is that this world and its kingdoms have been in some ways handed over to Satan - presumably since Adam obeyed the devil in the garden and sinned - and by sinning, he plunged the entire human race into sin. And so, now this whole dominion is temporarily Satan’s by God’s wise allowance.

But the glorious reality is that there’s coming a day in which all of this - the world and all of its kingdoms - will be turned back to their rightful owner.

The triumphant message of the seventh angel in Revelation 11:15 will be fully realized - “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

And that kingdom will last on this earth for 1,000 years. And after that time it will run on into and throughout eternity. God will finally rule - with no competition. Satan will be bound and then cast into the Lake of Fire forever. We will reign with God.

You probably didn’t fully understand this when you first trusted Christ. You maybe didn’t even know that you were being invited to a kingdom - or at least you wouldn’t have been able to describe it that precisely. But this was actually the message that Jesus started his earthly ministry by preaching. He said, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2).

And it’s this kingdom to which God has called you.

Called to God’s Glory

Additionally and related to that reality - God has called you to his glory.

The Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 5:10 calls this glory to which we’re called - after a little suffering here on earth - “eternal”. We will be enjoying this glory forever.

It’s this glory that Jesus entered into after his suffering for us on this earth (Luke 24:26). And he has prepared you - as a vessel of mercy - for this coming glory (Romans 9:23).

[S] And Jesus wants you to experience this glory with him! He prayed to his father this way in John 17:24:

John 17:24 AV 1873

24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

So, you are called to eternal conscious bliss and joy and peace with the Savior who loved and loves you. You’re called to enjoy this glory in a kingdom prepared especially for you and all your fellow-believers. And you and I will enjoy this forever.

But until we get there, there’s some suffering to endure. And there’s a life to live here on earth for God.

Your Outlook on Life

And so, as you Live This Life for God, it will - it must - have an impact on your Outlook on Life.

You’re not just living for a pay check or a grade in school or for a spouse or for a job or a car or a home or your kids or friends. You are living for a future hope. You are motivated by something different than what motivates the world.

The light momentary affliction that you’re experiencing now is not worthy to be compared to the glory that’s going to be revealed in you.

You can endure misery and hardship and difficulty here because your very outlook on life has changed. You are looking through - and looking past - all of those hard things … and you’re looking to God’s kingdom and glory that he’s prepared for you! You of all people! Sinful, disappointing, failing you. But God loves you and Christ shed his blood for your sin so that you could share in his kingdom and glory.

When you live for God, it will radically impact and change your Outlook on Life.

Conclusion

So then, are you walking worthy of these realities? Are you living in light of the fact that this is what you’re called to? You’re not just an earth-dweller. You are bound for God’s glorious kingdom.

Since that’s the case, what do you need to lay aside (negatively) or be engaged in (positively) as a citizen of God’s glorious kingdom?

Just to recall what we’ve already studied, how’s your work ethic?

•           Is your labor for others something that anyone would be able to call to mind when they think of you?

•           Is there anyone in your life who has benefited from your hard work and selfless service for them?

And then how is your character?

•           Are you known to others as holy? Are you set apart for God and his service? Can others sense that in you - whether they admire or despise you for it?

•           Are you just - do you behave righteously? Do you fulfill your obligations to others? Do you make promises and keep them?

•           Are you unblameable? Can people find “handles” to grab onto in your life in order to accuse you of wrongdoing?

What about your verbal interactions with others?

•           Are you encouraging others to live their life for God?

•           Do you do this in a way that expresses both love and urgency?

And then - how’s your outlook on life?

•           Are you looking for God’s coming kingdom and glory?

•           Or have you kind of forgotten the end-game here?

If you’re able to answer positively any or all of these questions, praise the Lord - and as the apostle Paul says later in this letter - do what you’re doing still more and more. And even go so far as Paul did and exhort and comfort and charge others in your life toward this worthy walk with the Lord.

And if you don’t find the positive realities in your life, you now have before you a pattern in the apostle Paul that you can follow. You might additionally want to try to seek someone out who will do like the apostle did and urge you on to a worthy walk with the Lord.

Whatever the case, may the Lord help us live our life with a view to him. May we walk worthy.

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