GUEST POST: Living for Christ

GUEST POST: Living for Christ
What does it mean to live in a way that pleases God? Parent Road Ministries team member Roger Bailey shares from his heart.

Who is Roger Bailey?

 Roger is an United States Marine Corp veteran. He graduated from South Dakota State University with a master of science degree in electrical engineering. His engineering career spanned several companies in several states. In retirement he and Mary, his wife of 46 years, reside in Tonkawa, OK. He has been active in church and serving most of his life. During his many years teaching Sunday school, Roger studied each week to add depth and application to his lessons. Some of his favorite authors are C. S. Lewis, Oswald Chambers, Dr. Richard C. H. Lenski, and Dr. Charles Stanley. Roger and Mary made a conscious effort to equip their four girls to know and love the Lord. Roger’s passion to reach the lost is still seen through his commitments to weekly prison ministries, Gideons International, Parent Road Ministries, and other ministry opportunities. In their down time, Roger and Mary love to travel and spend time with family (including their three grandchildren). Fun fact: Roger was baptized in the Jordan River during his first visit to the Holy Land. We asked Roger to share what he taught at the prison this week. This is what he said.

How Prison Ministry Works

Part of our goal is to get the inmates into reading God's Word. I try to make selections that include the gospel message and life applications. We encourage them to continue in the reading after we leave. Our visit includes Scripture reading, discussions, prayer, and songs of praise. This week our lesson is in 1 Thessalonians. The gospel is 1:8-10. Living to please God is 4:1-2; 5:13-24.

Turn and Follow God

Paul's letters to Thessalonians are encouragement for solid believers with instructions and cautions against false doctrine . This is especially applicable in today's world environment.
8 The Lord’s message rang out from you. That was true not only in Macedonia and Achaia. Your faith in God has also become known everywhere. So we don’t have to say anything about it. 9 The believers themselves report the kind of welcome you gave us. They tell about how you turned away from statues of gods. And you turned to serve the living and true God. 10 They tell about how you are waiting for his Son to come from heaven. God raised him from the dead. He is Jesus. He saves us from God’s anger, and his anger is sure to come. 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10 (NIRV)
This is the message of salvation for those who believe. The Thessalonians turned from their idols to the living truth of God's salvation in Christ Jesus. this video.>

I did that. Now what?

As Christians, now what? Paul's instructions in chapter 4 answer this question.
4 Now I want to talk about some other matters, brothers and sisters. We taught you how to live in a way that pleases God. In fact, that is how you are living. In the name of the Lord Jesus we ask and beg you to do it more and more. 2 You know the directions we gave you. They were given by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2 (NIRV)
What does it mean to live in a way that pleases God? This is answered in Paul's final instructions in chapter 5.
12 Brothers and sisters, we ask you to accept the godly leaders who work hard among you. They care for you in the Lord. They correct you. 13 Have a lot of respect for them. Love them because of what they do. Live in peace with one another. 14 Brothers and sisters, we are asking you to warn certain people. These people don’t want to work. Instead, they make trouble. We are also asking you to encourage those who have lost hope. Help those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that no one pays back one wrong act with another. Instead, always try to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus. 19 Don’t try to stop what the Holy Spirit is doing. 20 Don’t treat prophecies as if they weren’t important. 21 But test all prophecies. Hold on to what is good. 22 Say no to every kind of evil. 23 God is the God who gives peace. May he make you holy through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept free from blame. May you be without blame from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes. 24 The God who has chosen you is faithful. He will do all these things. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24 (NIRV)
The key thoughts here are:
  • respect for church leaders
  • living in peace with each other
  • support and encouraging our weaker brothers

In a Nutshell

Image © depositphotos.com/realinemedia
Verses 16-18 are a condensed summary of a life in Christ Jesus.
  • The joy of our salvation overshadows any adversity , making us be joyful always.
  • All decisions are prayerfully thought through.
  • We are thankful for our salvation and being right with God, regardless of circumstance.
These are what pleases God. We must consciously avoid blocking out God's direction in our life. Our closing prayer should include a request for God's strength to live this life pleasing to Him.
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