081819.ca_.logo_.jpg

Expository Studies

Play Video
Play Video

Daily Encouragement

Play Video

August 2, 2010

Building Strong Friendships in Christ

Ambitions for Today

“and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your own hands, just as we commanded you,”

1 Thessalonians 4:11, Page 1849  

        I really enjoy meeting all kinds of people at the beach everyday.  I sometimes go to a table, sit down, and expect to have time to read my Bible quietly.  Frequently, however, the Lord Jesus has other plans and He sends someone to talk with me.   Recently, I went to my usual table and a man I had met a few times was sitting there reading a book.  I left my Bible on the table, and went to the railing to watch the beautiful evening on the ocean.  Soon he came over to the railing and asked if we could pray for our mutual friend in the hospital.  He told me about a man who had broken his neck while riding his bike.  He was now paralyzed on the left side of his body, and had been in the hospital for over a month.  Our friend was just learning to move his left hand some, but he could not even begin to walk.  He was working on moving with physical therapy.  As I stood at that railing, I thought how blessed I am to walk, talk, and move as I wish.  I was also very happy my friend had asked me to pray with him, because I also shared with him how he could receive forgiveness of sins by simply believing that Christ died for him on the cross, and now lives as the risen Lord. 

       In 1 Thessalonians 4:11, page 1849, Paul talks all about ambition.  My injured friend now has the ambition to regain the use of his hand and arm, and to learn to walk again.  You see, he had broken his neck, and had a plate installed to join his neck vertebrae together.  We all have ambitions in life.  Paul describes three ambitions that every Christian should hold dear in his or her heart.

      First, our ambition should be to lead a quiet life.  This term quiet (“ἡσυχάζειν “) means to be silent, or to quiet down and give your attention to someone speaking (Acts 22:2, page 1744).  In our case, we need to quiet down and listen to the Lord Jesus speaking to us.

       Second, we must attend to our own business.   The literal phrase (“πράσσειν τὰ ἴδια“) means to do your own things, or to mind your own business.  The idea means that you take care of your own issues first, before you take on someone else’s problems or concerns. 

       Third, we must work with our own hands.  The emphasis falls upon being self sufficient by earning your own living.   I see many men who do not have regular work, and actually seek work.  Paul commands the Thessalonians to be self-sufficient and not rely upon charity from others.  Working forms an important part of the Christian life for every able-bodied person.

       Finally, Paul repeats that he has already commanded the Thessalonians to live according to these ambitions.  Christ gives every believer tremendous freedom in pursuing so many areas of life, but He also provides commands that guide us in our lives.  With every command, Christ also makes available the spiritual power to carry out each command.

       So, we learn some more about building strong friendships in Christ.

     ●  Strong bonds of friendship form when we follow the commands of Christ regarding our ambitions for live.

     ●  Strong bonds of friendship grow when  we make it our ambition to lead a quiet life, attend to our own business, and work with our own hands.

       ●  We harm our bonds of friendship when we lose control of our lives and live wantonly, become busybodies poking our noses into other people’s business where our noses do not belong, and we start depending upon the charity of others when we should be working with our own hands. 

Application for Today

        Today, I want to follow the ambitions that Jesus Christ has for me in my life.  What ambitions will you be following today?

 

 Christ Assembly Basics 

Christ Assembly provides free access to various studies from the Bible, the Word of God. The studies in this website are not inspired, but God produced the Bible, consisting of sixty-nine books (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament). The Holy Spirit inspired authors to produce original autographs of the Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Those original authors wrote over the course of many centuries. They wrote divinely inspired words and every word was divinely inspired. The authors communicated in their own styles, and with their own vocabulary, but God breathed out every word of the final autographs. The words in the Bible really matter, and deserve careful study. 
 
As we study, we seek to love Jesus more because His word has instructed us so that we learn His ways. Eternal life consists in knowing God the Father, and Jesus Christ Whom God sent. As the eternal God of Glory, One with His Father, the Son of God took flesh and dwelt among us. Because of His death, He used His blood to purchase our redemption. He was raised for our justification. We now live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved us and gave Himself for us. By the grace of God, the Holy Spirit abides in every born-again believer and fills us with His presence and blessings. He leads us into all truth. Jesus is the truth, and the way, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Jesus, our Lord. 
 
We look forward to His imminent return to the clouds of earth, to snatch away the believers alive on earth, so that we may be forever with the Lord. When He returns to the clouds, He will bring with Him all those people in Christ who died before His return to the clouds. We encourage one another with the promises of God, Who makes our path grow brighter and brighter, until the full light of day shines forth. We love Jesus and look forward to seeing Him soon. After Jesus removes the believers from the earth, then a terrible period of seven years follows where God brings measured and precise judgments upon the people alive on earth. God cut those days of  Tribulation short, or no flesh would have been saved. Jesus will then return to earth, slay His enemies, and place His feet on the Mount of Olives where He ascended to heaven. He will then reign on earth for a thousand years, and believers will reign with Him. After the Millennial Reign of Christ, all unbelievers will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment, and they will suffer according to their deeds done on earth. They will be cast into the Lake of Fire, a place of torment night and day for eternity, because they never received the free gift of salvation while alive on earth. One day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God. Today we invite you to come and see Jesus, and learn from Him, for He is gentle and humble in heart. Take His yoke upon you, for His burden is easy and His yoke is light. He will give you rest for your soul as you trust Him. We receive salvation only from Jesus, by faith alone in Jesus, Who gives us the free gift of eternal life. 
 
We accept the teaching of the Word of God. As born again believers, baptized by Jesus with the Holy Spirit, the anointing from God teaches us all things. We love to study the Word of God as we abide in Christ Jesus our Lord. God blesses all of us when we read His word, hear His word, and heed His word. We share original studies of the Word of God without cost and we do not receive donations. We support the finances of this ministry through private means, so that we are not a burden to anyone. We oppose charging people to read books, articles, journals or other studies of the Word of God. Such work should be supported by donations, but not in prescribed amounts and not as a requirement to gain access to what God has freely provided. What God has freely given, we should freely share. Just as Paul worked making tents, so we work to support this ministry. 
 

 Christ Assembly License

The author of all original material on this website retains all legal and equitable rights to the properties at issue. The author granted Christ Assembly a limited-use, revocable license to publish material on this website, while reserving all ownership rights to the original author. You may use any original material on this website to the glory of God, but you may not receive anything of value for such use. You may not receive any donations related to any original material on this website. All use of original material on this website is subject to the revocable, limited license above. You must conspicuously indicate on any use of the original material that it originated from ChristAssembly.org.  Any revocation of the license shall be posted on this website and all rights to use material may be revoked without prior notice. By copying and using any original material from this website, you consent to such license. Christ Assembly opposes any payment for access to studies, articles, journals, or other publications of studies concerning the Word of God. As God has freely given, so also the products of His grace should be freely shared.