Ministry Resources

NT Fire Starters – Day 286: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-18

READ: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-18

THINK: Do you like to do the dishes? Probably not. But that’s what dishwashers are for, right? While most people would prefer not to wash dishes, no one likes to eat off of dirty plates or drink from dirty cups. Neither do we put our most precious possessions in filthy containers. The same is true of God. When you accept His forgiveness and entrust your life to Him, He cleanses you spiritually and reserves you for His purposes. But He also continues to refine, purify, prepare and perfect you for the day you will join Him for eternity.

RESPOND: What does it mean to be “sanctified,” and why is that God’s intention for us? (See 4:3 note.) Why is it important for spiritual leaders to challenge God’s people in this regard? Why is self-control (v. 4) so vital to the process of sanctification? What is “sexual immorality,” and what precautions can you take to avoid it? (See 4:3-7 note.) In what way does sexually immoral behavior not only offend God, but also harm, rob and violate others? (See 4:6 note.) What does it mean to be spiritually “pure,” and why does God expect this of His people? (See 4:7 note.) In what way are those who reject Biblical standards of sanctification and purity rejecting God himself? (See 4:8 note.) According to this passage, what are some ways “that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders”? (See 4:12 note.) Who are “those who fall asleep” (v. 13), and what hope does this passage give concerning them? (See 4:13 note.) In what way does Jesus’ death and resurrection also give us hope of His return (vv. 14-17)? When Christ returns for His church, what will happen to His followers who are alive on earth at the time? (See 4:17 note.) Why is it important for true Christians to encourage each other regarding this event? (See 4:18 note.)

PRAY: Ask God to help you develop and exercise greater self-control. Commit to avoiding all sexual immorality, in thought and behavior. Pray for a passion for purity in every aspect of life. Thank Jesus for the hope of His return.

ACT: Examine your life for any trace of sexual immorality. Make the changes necessary to rid your life of spiritual impurity. Take time later to read the articles on Standards of Sexual Morality, p. 1833, and Sanctification, p. 1852.

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