‘And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.’ (v13) 1 Thessalonians 2:10–16
Paul is unashamed to point to his own life as an example of how God calls us to live (v10). I wonder how confident we would be in suggesting that family and friends inspect our lives in detail to discover what the impact of serving God looks like? We know how challenging it is to find consistency in our walk of faith.
As Selwyn Hughes constantly stressed, the reality of belief is always measured in our behaviour. The seed of hypocrisy grows from an insistence of belief over behaviour, what is also termed Pharisaism.
What we believe is of critical importance, and is revealed through God’s Word. However, when we insist on truth but refuse to allow it to change both the way we live our life and choose to see others, we fail to put Jesus’ instructions into practice.
Division and confusion is created within the Christian Church when we abandon behaviour in favour of asserting truth. Indeed, the very challenges we experience in seeking to live by faith rather than by sight (2 Cor. 5:7) quickly reveal just what a challenge the Christian life is in practice.
But God understands our human condition (Heb. 4:15–16). It requires a lot more humility than I ever imagined. We are perhaps best acknowledging our struggles and learning humility, following in Jesus’ footsteps (Phil. 2:5–11)
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