"Planning the Good Life"
TEXTS: 1 Thess. 4:9-12
1. The lives of believers should be characterized by joy. Instead of living with a sense of defeat and continually being in a broken down state, we are called to be over-comers. But this is not accomplished by simply understanding this should be the reality we live and walk in. Overcoming the temptations and trials of the world takes real effort and planning. Our affections for Christ must be stirred up and we must be intentional in our pursuit of God’s Kingdom.
2. We have been called to lead peaceful and quiet lives. Believers should not be marked as radical people. Although we should be unwavering in our commitment to Christ, we should strive to live in such a way that attracts others to Christ. Esther saved her people because she properly participated within her culture. God placed her within her culture so that He could use her to accomplish His purposes.
3. God wants us to plan for future success. We should routinely consider how we are handling our marriages, our parenting, and our daily decisions. What are we sowing in those areas of life and how should we be handling them?
4. God’s instructions to us primarily deal with: (1) how to live holy lives, and (2) how to live a good life (by being a good neighbor and citizen).
5. It is dangerous and unfulfilling to live a Christian life that leaves you “on the fence.” You can claim to know Christ and serve Him, but go on to live as if you don’t. This position will not bring joy or peace to your soul. And it is easy to find yourself on the fence if you don’t intentionally make some plans concerning your spiritual growth.
TALK TO EACH OTHER:
1. How do we stir up our affections for Christ? What has worked for you personally?
2. What does it mean to be successful as a believer? How can you plan for future success in the various areas of your life (marriage, parenting, etc...)?
3. We heard on Sunday that holiness starts internally (in our hearts). What does it mean to live a holy life in relation to this truth?
4. How would you characterize and define living a life “on the fence?” What can a believer do to guard themselves from ending up in such a place?
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following area(s):
- That as believers we would not be "on the fence"
- Wisdom concerning how to plan for future success in the various areas of life