Last blog urged readers to think about “more and more” – how it affects the idea of pleasing God and surrendering to Him. We looked at His love, instruction, and transformation for your life. Today, let’s look at “more and more” again – but this time, how it affects aspects of living and loving. It seems these two ideas, living well and loving well, go together. More and more.
If you apply your energy to lead a quiet life, mind your own business, and work hard at what matters each day, you will avoid much trouble. You will side-step many entanglements. Then, when trouble comes your way, and it will, your practice of living a quiet life and trusting God will open secret doors and windows. You will find you are able to better navigate through tangled issues around you.
It’s very challenging in the thick of trials to stay free from anxiety. It seems everywhere you turn, there is some kind of threat, loss, or energy-sucking unknown element. This is the perfect training scenario to trust Jesus. To intentionally take up His promises and practice His peace. To believe He cares and is working to see you through your difficulties. It forces you to choose: worry or trust God.
As you cease to be anxious and as you transfer your dependency from others onto Christ, you become more and more credible. People respect your life. And you enjoy peace – even in the storms. God’s promises come alive as you live to please Him. They are always “yes!” (2 Cor. 1:20) God will keep every promise He has made for the person who believes Him. God loves you! In a similar way, the commands of God are also “yes.” God gives commands and instructions to help you. It’s not a tug-of-war between you and God. It’s not negotiation and compromise. It is living in faith and obedience. Loving God back. Loving others.
As you trust and obey, the Lord wants you to pour yourself into loving well. To deeply care about your relationship with God. To care deeply about others’ well-being.
Loving one another helps everyone get through the tough days. The God who raised Jesus from the dead, will raise you up in daily issues. He will lift you above your troubles and trials by His love. God wants you to tell others about His love for them. About the messages of hope. Then they will have something to live in, to love through, and to give God each day – especially when He returns. Loving well adds eternal value to every investment. Sometimes, loving means bringing a level of accountability into a situation. It means walking with a person through thick and thin. It means covering many things with kindness and grace, even when it is not deserved by others.
Jesus IS coming back. What a day that will be! Picture the scenario Scripture describes: Jesus returns for all to see, a loud command heard over the earth, a trumpet blast that breaks the sound barrier. People rising from the dead. You, if you are still alive, rising up to join them with Jesus in the sky. There has never been, nor will there ever be again, a day like that one.
On that day, you will be exceedingly glad that you chose to live well and love well. So, do this more and more. Put yourself on this path. Stay there as you simply trust Jesus for everything. Claim His every promise. Obey His every command. Love God first and most. Love His people next. And live a quiet life.
Will you commit to live and love well? What can you do today to practice these?
Article developed from 1 Thess. 4:9-18.