. . . and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10
Convicted by the word of God and saved from the wrath to come, we serve in faith as we wait for our redeemer. This compels us to pursue the following during our brief time here on Earth:
Our Father holds in his hand the soul of every living thing and the breath of all mankind. Read Job 12:7-10 Therefore, because he is the ultimate authority over all things, we stand in awe, reverence, respect, and obedience. We fear offending God and desire more than anything to walk in a manner that pleases him.
For the lost, there is no fear of God, being that he is an abstract, even fictional, concept. But past this life, when the words in the Bible are proven true, they will for sure experience a fear of God. But then it will not be a fear of respect, instead it will be fear born of remorse and terror – a crushing fear of judgment, condemnation, and imminent eternal agony. Fear of the now inescapable wrath of God. Therefore, we are deeply grieved for those we love who have no regard for God and have turned away from Christ. Destined to receive the penalty for their unrepentant sin, their fate is a thing so terrible that we cannot bear to think about it.
Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:29-31
To love God is to obey him. To please God is to live a life that glorifies Him. To serve God, we strive to follow his will, which is accomplished by the elements of a holy life presented below.
Live in the Word of God
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and Spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Daily bible study is the foundation of living in the word of God. Therein is found the revelation of God regarding all we need to know to live in accordance with his will. Even the most devoted are adrift without daily edification and affirmation of God’s word.
Keep His Commandments
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:29-31
There is no salvation in the law, but we have been saved to be obedient to the commands of God. What God requires of us is clearly and repetitively called out in the Bible. Foremost is to love (obey) him, and right behind that is to love (serve) our fellow man.
Live as a Testimony to His Good, Acceptable, and Perfect Will
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:1-2
Our reason for being here on earth is to glorify God and win souls for Christ. This is empowered by living a life that is a testimony to God. We tell others the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is a transformed life that gives us power and credibility in that message. Living as everyone else does, for ourselves and the pleasure of the world, defeats us and dishonors God. So, live in Christ and always be ready to tell others of the hope that is in you.
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1 Peter 3:15
Be ye followers (imitators) of me, even as I also am of Christ.1 Corinthians 11:1
The Bible repeatedly tells us to be like Christ; embodying the elements of Christ’s attitudes and character that are so opposite those of the world: humility, concern for the welfare of others, self-sacrifice, forgiveness, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, vigilance (alert and aware), and a loving, unshakable devotion to God. Always ask yourself, what would Jesus do?
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
We trust him completely because of our faith in his promises and the affirming experience of his love in our trials. He tells us that all things work together for good (which is to be made more like his Son) for those who love him, and we walk joyously in that knowledge. Read Romans 8:28-29
Therefore, we trust him with our welfare in all things. We give him our lives and rest in the security of his love, power, and wisdom. We need fear no man, demon, circumstance, or even death because God is in control. We need be anxious for nothing and have peace through trust in him.
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17
All the good things you enjoy and exploit to your benefit are from God. Your intelligence, health, prosperity, your lot in life, and even every beat of your heart is a gift from God.
There is nothing that you possess that was not given to you. You earn because God provided ability and opportunity; to think otherwise is arrogance. Be humble and grateful.
For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? 1 Corinthians 4:7
Pray Without Ceasing
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Prayer is a constant, it is settling and calms our hearts and mind. Through prayer our will is conformed to the will of God, and our mind is set on things above and not on things of the world. In prayer we are drawn to God, we rest in his peace and rejoice thankfully in his blessings. Pray about everything and don’t worry about anything.