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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Empowered to live - 2Thessalonians

 Introduction

When we grasp after what we want in life we are severely limited by our own capabilities. When we choose God and aspire to the far greater calling that He points us to, then our lives are empowered by God and the challenges that seem to limit are opportunities to see the Lord honoured as together with Him they are overcome.


Background

Paul started a number of churches. Communications were poor, but he desired to pray for these people who were on his heart. He prayed for them what was of eternal value, and so these prayers are not only prayers we can pray, but pointers to what is really important in life.


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Empowered to live

The power of God is not some power source that enables us to do what we want with greater force. God is a person and He will not be used by us in such a way. Rather, while we walk with Him in faith, He joyfully empowers us to live out expressions of His love.

  1. What is a life worthy of God’s call?
  2. What does it mean that faith prompts us to act?
  3. How have you seen God honoured through the life of a person?


2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.*



Life worthy of God’s call

We are encouraged to live a life that pleases God, and to grow in the development of such a lifestyle.

  1. What would you think would be a lifestyle that pleases God?
  2. What three major headings are given by Paul in this passage?
  3. How could these be developed in your life?


1 Thessalonians 4: 1 Finally, dear brothers and sisters,* we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more.2 For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.   3 God's will is for you to be holy, …  9 But we don't need to write to you about the importance of loving each other,* for God himself has taught you to love one another….  11 Make it your goal to live a quiet life, …


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By God’s power

The lifestyle that pleases God is impossible by ourselves. We might manage a few elements, but not the whole thing. The way to this lifestyle is through working with God by His power.

  1. What are the two natures that can control your mind?
  2. What is the fruit of the two natures?
  3. How do you observe these two natures at work in your mind?
  4. How can you cooperate with the Spirit so that He can overcome death and bring life and peace?


 Romans 8:5-8   5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God's laws, and it never will.8 That's why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.


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Faith prompts action

As we get to know God, seeing the way He works in our lives and those of others, we are prompted to act His way with an increasing confidence that He will back us up.

  1. How do you see faith lived out in this Bible passage?
  2. What obstacles could you imagine Abraham having to overcome to act this way?
  3. What is one way your life needs to change to be aligned with God’s ways?


Hebrews 11:8 It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.9 And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise.10 Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.


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God’s name honoured

The outworking of this lifestyle, empowered by God is that God is honoured by those who see our lives. Our lifestyle influences the way others see God. Yet it is only when our lives are empowered by God, that it is God’s name that will be honoured.

  1. What was Paul’s expectation for the way his life would influence others?
  2. What about your life might bring honour to God?


Philippians 1:20 For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die.


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