John Grant, Week Twenty-Four, 2020
“Indeed, you do this for all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Nevertheless, we urge you, brothers, to progress even more” (1 Thessalonians 4:10).
There is an amusing series of ads depicting various professions and occupations and describing each as okay. Then the tag line says “Just okay is not okay.” The same is true in our faith. We are called to excellence beyond just okay or average.
I remember discussing a report card grade of “C” with one of my children. As I challenged him for excellence in a higher grade, he responded that “C” was average, and average was okay. Well, it’s not okay.
Paul exhorted the church at Thessalonica what they were doing well could be done even better and they could “excel still more.” We are called to think and act in God’s excellent ways in every dimension of our life. To this end, Jesus provides an example and the Holy Spirit refines, motivates.
Unlike some of Paul’s writings that chastised or scolded the recipient churches, he writes to the church at Thessalonica commending them for all they had done to spread their love to their fellow believers throughout the province of Macedonia. They contributed unselfishly to the relief of Jewish Christians in Judea.
They had given out of their extreme poverty. Nevertheless, Paul exhorted the believers at Thessalonica to keep on increasing their love and while commending them for what they were doing, but asked them to do even more.
Ann Frank, a Dutch Jew was in hiding from the Germans during World War II. In her diary, published after her death she said, “No one has ever become poor by giving. The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. No matter how pure we may be, God calls us to lighten the burdens of others. As Christians, we are called to serve and to give God and others our very best”.
Your best involves giving God your total being. Your best involves giving God your first of everything. Your best involves giving God your most superior work. To give God a half-hearted or sloppy effort falls short of doing whatever we do.
We must live our faith and give God our best for when serving the Lord, okay is not okay.
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
Good morals and charitable deeds do not make someone a Christian. Sometimes I hear folks who ought to know better identifying others as Christians just because they do good. Value morality. And help other people. There’s more to being a Christian than just good works. Preacher Man Ken Weliever.
— o —
The Christian life is both sacrifice and service. The test of Christian love is not simply failure to do evil to others. It involves doing good. Christian love is both positive and negative. Isaiah 1:16-17 says, “Cease to do evil, learn to do well.” Ken Whitten
— o —
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil 2:3-4).