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Walking The Line
Walking The Line
Are we a bit of a skeptic? When someone tells us some breaking news or information, do we always believe them immediately, or do we usually ask about the source of their information and then go check it out for ourselves? You see, there are a lot of sources out there and a lot of them are giving biased or inaccurate information.
But there are a few people I trust almost completely. They have proven themselves over time to be discerning and trustworthy. Even more than that, they are people of integrity. I know their character based on their words, actions, and the kind of lives they live. Because of that trust in them as a person, I usually don't doubt the things they say. I still might ask where they got their information so I can check it out myself, but I'll generally believe them because of whom they are.
In 1 Thessalonians 2:11-13 we read, “As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” Paul appeals to his own character to back up the gospel that he preaches. He reminds the Thessalonians of how he lived among them, how blameless and hard working he was. Paul was a model of devotion, holiness, and integrity! Because of the way he lived, Paul's gospel meant more to the Thessalonians. His devotion to Jesus made it clear to everybody how strongly he believed the gospel.
When Paul challenged the Thessalonian Christians to live so as to win the respect of outsiders (1 Thessalonians 4:12 “That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.”), he wanted them to imitate him. He wanted them to live in such a way that the gospel gains credibility. Where people had previously responded with persecution, Paul saw the gospel as something people could not only tolerate, but could embrace. That is one of the reasons he called them to such high moral standards.
If we are serious about spreading the gospel, we have to ask ourselves a few questions. How am I living? Is my life winning the respect of others? Am I practicing what I preach? How could I better represent the gospel of Jesus Christ? How could I better show the love of God to others? Let's always look for opportunities to represent the God we serve and the gospel we preach.
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