Updated: Jul 19
1 Thessalonians 4:1, "Brothers and sisters, we taught you how to live in a way that will please God, and you are living that way. Now we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus to live that way even more."
For decades we have heard the word ‘lifestyle’ referring to how people live. The simplest definition for this is: how a person lives from a financial standpoint, the possessions they buy and how they choose to spend their money.
Have you noticed though that lately we are hearing more and more about an idea for a change in one's lifestyle? More and more people are talking about downsizing. Yet we also see our culture spending excessively, buying bigger and better. Then we seem to love looking into the lifestyles of the rich and famous. We watch as news channels broadcast their lives, follow them on media and read their stories when we can. Commercials push the idea of a bigger, better lifestyle if we just buy this and that. If we want to have a lifestyle of the rich and famous, we just have to upsize our lifestyle.
The lifestyles we choose to live are like two lanes on a road going in opposite directions. Either you seek a materially leaner life or a fatter material lifestyle. All of us are going in one or the other direction. Are you seeking to downsize or acquire more and add to it?
There is a third option we should consider when we look at our lifestyle. All we need to do is look to the scriptures and see Jesus’ definition of lifestyle. Does your life show generosity- a life without greed or hoarding? Does your lifestyle show giving- helping others where and when possible? Does your lifestyle show you are putting all you have at God's disposal? Our lifestyle should not be how much we earn, where we live or in what area we reside. Jesus even tells His disciples to go from town to town with just the clothes on their back and sandals on their feet. Jesus’ lifestyle was about sharing who God was and His residence was never one place but where someone would take Him in while He shared the good news in that town.
Our lifestyle should never be about earthly gain, the bigger the better. It should be about our willing heart to share with others the good news about Christ, not what we have above our basic needs to live. It's about trusting Jesus to care of our needs and learning to work with our neighbors.
As you go about your home touching your various possessions like your microwave, washer/dryer, the clothes you own, the food you eat. Do you first and foremost thank God you have what you have when there are so many who go without? Do you realize the blessings in your lifestyle? Next, ask yourself if you would be willing to loan, share, or give to others. Finally, ask, “Do I actually share, loan, or give of my blessings on a regular basis?”
If you have been blessed with plenty, have you ever considered that a little bit of downsizing may be a benefit in your life? God is good all the time and will always take care of our needs when we trust Him. Let's all just take a few moments to make sure our lifestyle aligns with God over worldly gains and ideas. Let's look for that balance today.
When we study the Bible we are able to defend our faith and teach others about Jesus. Let me ask you this, why are you a Christian and can you share with others what you believe and why you believe it? Are you a Christian because you were brought up that way and what do you say to other religions? How can we claim to be believers in the truth, when we don’t even know the truth?! What are we going to say to people when they ask us questions? We are living, breathing, walking testimonies of Jesus Christ. We are his representatives on earth.
We might not be able to know everything. But we should know enough to defend our beliefs. We CANNOT take the Pastor’s word only; we must study the Bible for ourselves, and ask God to guide us to the truth. God has made us His disciples. Jesus’ commission to us in Matthew 28:19, 20. Though you may not be tasked with being a church bible study teacher, you may still have someone approach you about your beliefs.
I think it is important to note, that we should not study to the Bible with the sole intent of arguing with other Christians about biblical doctrine. It is not our job to convict others of the truth. And with the knowledge you acquire during your personal Bible study time, you might be able to help lead that person to Christ. We have to trust that God will lead His people into His truth and leave it at that. Those who seek truth, will find it. Remember, it is better to know God’s Word for yourself than to rely on the knowledge of others. “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”–Matthew 24:24
Let's continue our study today with 2 Timothy chapter 2
Study 2, 2 Timothy chapter 2- https://www.docdroid.net/uvMFHcQ/study-2-docx
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