Today’s Bible reading is Ezra 2 and 1 Thessalonians 4.
Knowing God. What difference does it make? In 1 Thessalonians 4, disciples of Jesus are called to be different from those “who do not know God” (4:5). So what difference does knowing God really make?
When you know God, you pay attention to the “asks” and “urgings” of Scripture.
We ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus… (4:1)
You know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus… (4:2)
Whoever disregards this, disregards not man, but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. (4:8)
For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord… (4:15)
When you know God, you’ve been shown how to walk and Who to please.
…that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. (4:1)
For this is the will of God, your sanctification… (4:3)
When you know God, you learn to live with self-control.
…that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God… (4:3-5)
When you know God, you listen to his warnings.
…because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. (4:6-7)
When you know God, you know what and Who is coming.
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep… For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. (4:13-17)
When you know God, you still grieve, but you do so with hope that even death cannot shake.
…we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. (4:13)
When you know God, you’re blessed with traveling companions on the road to heaven.
Therefore encourage one another with these words. (4:18)
What difference does knowing God make in the lives of ordinary men and women?
- The “asks” and “urgings” of Scripture come to really matter
- You’ve been shown how to walk and Who to please
- You learn to live with self-control
- You listen to your Creator’s warnings
- You know what and Who is coming
- You still grieve, but with hope that even death cannot shake
- You’re blessed with traveling companions on the road to heaven
Knowing God makes all the difference.
So what will you do this week to get to know God better?