“HABITS OF HIGHLY USEFUL SERVANTS OF GOD #5: LOVE
FIRST THESS 2:7 (52-14)
I. A Brief survey of Paul’s Life. A. He was born about AD 4. B. He was born again or saved at about age 28. In AD 32 (Acts 9) records this event with all the excitement of angry citizens, a malignant King Aretas’ death threat, and a daring basket over the wall escape. Then, C. Desert training from the Master Himself and back to home town Tarsus from age 28-40, or AD 32-44. Acts picks uo with then conclusion of the years by his ministry in Antioch. From there he is sent out on a missionary journey. D. First Missionary Journey at the age of 41-43, (AD 45-47): Along the way he is stoned (14:19) and mistreated and threatened (13:50) all along the way. He doesn/t stop. Writing the Scriptures all the way. 1. From Acts 13 and 14 he wrote Galatians. 2. Opposes Peter and the church for a dual standard about the Ceremonial Law (Galatians). 3. Works with the church at Antioch from age 44-45 (AD 47-49). E. His Second Missionary Journey takes him from the age of 45-47 (AD 49-51): 1. Along the way he is beaten at Philippi, 2. Run out of Thessalonica, listened to in Berea and then
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3. Laughed out of Athens.He comes home to take off soon on his perhaps final journey in freedom. 4. I & II Thess After second journey. F. Third Missionary Journey takes him from the age of 48-52 (AD 52-56). 1. I & II Corinthians and Romans From Third 2. After coming back to Jerusalem he is attacked by a mob, jailed, sent to wait for Caesar’s hearing in the capital city of Roman Caesarean. From this imprisonment comes a river of joyful epistles. 3. Col., Eph, Philemon, Phil : During Caesarean imprisonment G. First Roman 1. First Timothy Titus from First Roman imprisonment. H. Second and Death [Age 63-64, AD 67-68] 1. Second Timothy Second Roman imprisonment
When Paul looked back on his work among the Thessalonians? A life on a daily basis had: HABITS OF FEARLESSNESS [2:1] HABITS OF INTEGRITY [2:3] HABITS OF HONESTY [2:5] HABITS OF HUMILITY [2:6] HABITS OF LOVINGKINDNESS [2:7] HABITS OF PASSIONATE LIVING [2:8] HABITS OF DEDICATION [2:9-11]
HABITS OF EFFECTIVE SERVANTS #5 LOVE (2:7) The apostle Paul wrote to a city church that mirrored the very culture we live in.
LOVE IS A GOOD HABIT:
Would you do it any differently?
One father summed it up this way. He said, “My family’s all grown, and the kids are all gone. But, if I had to do it all over again, this is what I’d do:
I would love my wife more in front of my children. I would laugh with my children more–at our mistakes and our joys. I would listen more, even to the littlest child. I would be more honest about my own weaknesses, never pretending perfection.
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I would pray differently for my family–instead of focusing on them, I’d focus on me. I would do more things together with my children. I would encourage them more and bestow more praise. I would pay more attention to little things, like deeds and words of thoughtfulness. And then, finally, if I had to do it all over again, I would share God more intimately with my family; every ordinary thing that happened in every ordinary day I would use to direct them to God.”
LOVE IS A LIFESTYLE: in the words of Graham Scroggie, born in 1877, a noted Bible teacher who pastored in the British world analyzed the Virtues of Love as follows:
Love in not Hasty, but Patient. Love is not Inconsiderate, but Benevolent. Love is not Envious, but Content. Love is not Boastful, but Unostentatious. Love is not Arrogant, but Humble. Love is not Rude, but Courteous. Love is not Selfish, but Self-forgetful. Love is not Irritable, but Good-tempered. Love is not Vindictive, but Generous. Love is not Malevolent, but High-principled. Love is not Rebellious, but Brave. Love is not Suspicious, but Confident. Love is not Despondent, but Undiscourageable. Love is not Conquerable, but Indomitable William Scroggie, 1877
LOVE LACKING: Lets take a trip to the 1st Century world. Then after seeing the struggles of Century one, stop in Tulsa of 1997…To see the best photo of the ancient way of life turn to the 30 chapter we have on Corinth. More than any other city we have insight into this one. If we were to scan this epistle in a couple of minutes and grab the big problems they faced in 1st century Christianity, these would be the “sins of the saints at Corinth”:
1. DIVISIVENESS 1:10 divisiveness = following men and movements more than truth. 2. ARROGANCE 1: 18-20 arrogance = hung up on highbrow human philosophy rather than the simple gospel,
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3. WORLDLINESS 1:26 worldly = pursuing cultural, societal worldly fame and prestige. Temporal over eternal. 4. FLESHLINESS 3:1-3 fleshly = carnality, the entertainment mentality of the Christian life. [ENDED HERE 2/9/97 PM] 5. INDULGENCE 5:1 morally lax = toleration of sexual promiscuity, especially seen in the list of 6:9-11.. 6. LITIGIOUSNESS 6:1 litigious = a vengeful, get even, get all i can, my rights first attitude toward one another. 7. CONFUSEDNESS 7: confused = they had a low view of marriage, thus confusion over god’s principles for a biblical marriage. 8. SELFISHNESS 8:1 selfish= liberty misused by a selfish lack of love and care for others. 9. UNDISCIPLINED 9:24 undisciplined = needed strict self denial unto holiness. 10. LUSTFULNESS 10:6 lustful = chasing after worldly things and pleasures. 11. TWO-FACEDNESS 10: 16-22 compromisers = lit. Facing both ways’ as they came to the lord’s table and also to pagan idol worship. 12. UNSUBMISSIVENESS 11:1 unsubmissiveness = pervfrsion of male/female roles in church, home and society. 13. HOLLOWNESS 12-14 hollow = they had perverted the proper use of spiritual gifts, 14. ERRANTNESS 15:1,12 errant = they had lost their grip on God’s truth.
I like the way Charlie Shedd described it in one of his original promises to his tiny son, Peter: I hope that I will be able to make religion natural to you. It is natural. In fact, I think this relationship with God is the only thing that is one hundred percent natural. We will pray together until it is easy for you to put your arms on the window sill of heaven and look into the face of God. Before I put you back in your crib, I want to tell you something Philip said.
We had been out in the country for a ride. It was evening and we ran out of gas. We were walking along after we had been to the farm house, and I was carrying a can of gas. Philip was only four. He was playing along, throwing rocks at the telephone poles, picking flowers, and then, all of a sudden it got dark. Sometimes night comes all at
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once in the country. Philip came over, put his little hand in mine and said, “Take my hand, Daddy. I might get lost.”
Peter, there is a hand reaching to you from the heart of the universe. If you will lay your hand in the hand of God and walk with Him, you will never ever get lost.