From: Rich Carlson
Date: March 9, 2020
Subject: It's March 9; Good Morning Union

“Finally brothers, we instruct you how to live in order to please God…”      1 Thessalonians 4:1

Ok, sometimes I need a little medicine along with the desserts of life. Sometimes a reality check is important, not necessarily to dwell or fixate on, but to at least be reminded of a few of those caution flags in life! Today that’s what I saw as I continued my journey through Paul’s letter to the Thessalonian believers. “How to live in order to please God.”

This section in fact is one of those clear definitions of what is “God’s will,” something I search for (and abuse many times by prefacing what I want with “I think this is God’s will,” or “I’ve been praying and I believe this is God’s will!). One time I Googled “God’s Will” and its derivatives, and it was a VERY enlightening discovering of what God actually says is in fact, “His will!” Try it sometime!

But for today “living to please God” is prefaced with “THIS is God’s will!” It IS God’s will that we please Him! Paul defines this “pleasing” process as follows:

  1. “Be holy (set apart for something special)
  2. Avoid sexual immorality
  3. Learn to control your own body
    1. In a way that is holy and honorable
    2. Not in passion and lust like the heathen who do not know God
  4. Don’t wrong your brother or take advantage of him
  5. Lead a quiet life
  6. Mind your own business
  7. Work with your hands
    1. So that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders
    2. And so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”

That’s quite a list! And Paul concludes with “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” Vs 7

I think my three take aways this morning are:

  1. Paul calls me to be holy- which means for me to recognize that I have been “set apart for a special purpose.” That’s what “holy” meant in the Bible and I believe that’s what holy still means today. I’ve been called and set apart by God for something special.
  2. Paul contrasts “holy” with “impure/immoral.” It’s like the opposite of holy is impure; the opposite of being “set apart for a special purpose” is to allow my body and my heart to be used for not a special purpose. That helps me sort out my calling by reminding me that if I want this “being set apart for something special by God” to make sense I need to choose wisely and reject in my life anything that smacks of impure or immoral. Those things only tend to distract and confuse my calling to holiness.
  3. My calling and my being “set apart for something special by God” does not look weird; in fact it “wins the respect of the outsider” according to Paul in verse 12. Those who have not yet discovered God’s calling need an example of what that looks like. The result of living my life and making my choices like I am a child of God, called and set apart for something special, is that I can become that living example. That’s quite a calling in itself!!


Have a great day making choices like you have been set apart for something special by God, because you have,

Pastor Rich


Quote for the day:      “You will never influence the world by trying to be like it.”

PS        Stay healthy and well!! Wash your hands!