Paul was one of those people that would say it just like it was...in Galatians Paul was not pleased with the way they were living or the way they were preaching...it was as though simple faith in Jesus was not enough.
Galatians 1:6 I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to the Good News.
"When you love someone deeply you can tell them the truth even if it hurts...if it's in love"
Lets take a look at Thessalonians and three signs of a healthy Church.
1 Thessalonians 1:3 As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Why was Paul so pleased and inspired by Thessalonica?
Sign #1-Faithfulness to Christ. even when it's no longer convenient...we endure for Christ.
faithfulness--Making Christ first and doing so daily in every area of my life.
Relationships are important and there are all different types of relationships, but if I'm putting anyone before Christ, it's impossible to be faithful to Him. He MUST be FIRST!!
(well when it's put this way...it's clearly evident I need to work on this area of my life!)
Three Roadblocks to faithfulness:
- Distractions from the enemy: Note, that it's not always from the devil...it's our desires
- Desires from within: James 1:13-15 And remember when you are being tempted, do not say, "God is tempting me." God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.
- Disappointments that are being blamed on God: Sometimes we are so disappointed in our circumstances we just decide to go somewhere else. Disappointments will either point you to Christ or push you away from Christ
- When we serve others-we become more like Jesus "May You increase and I decrease" Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 9:35 He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, "Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else." 1 Peter 4:10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
- We change the World around us. Everywhere we go we can identify a problem. What does it take to be the person to change the problem? Lets not be people who get in circles and complain about these problems. Lets get to the place where we live in the power of the spirit to change the World around us.
Paul affirms the church's actions and motives.
- if you do for the wrong reasons...it means nothing.
- Your faith, hope, and love are pushing you to do the works of God.