Living Inbetween – Walk in a Manner Worthy of God

Continuing the Living In-Between series, David read from I Thessalonians 2:5-12. In this passage Paul is defending himself and his colleagues against false rumours being spread about them and their ministry. Paul was not concerned about his own reputation but rather about the effect of such bad press on the local, brand-new church at Thessalonica. As he deals directly with some of these rumours, Paul encourages the Thessalonian Christians to learn from him and, more than that, to imitate him. And as we in Windsor Baptist read this letter years down the line, in a very different context, there are still lessons to learn for our life with God and for our imitation of Jesus today. It can all be summed up in the 7 words at the end of our reading:

‘WALK IN A MANNER WORTHY OF GOD."

I Thessalonians 2:12

When Paul uses this word ‘walk’ (it occurs some 32 times in his letters) he is referring to the way we live our lives – it’s about lifestyle, daily conduct, practical godliness in all areas of life. It incorporates our attitudes, speech and actions; we are to live our whole lives in a manner that reflects God’s character and brings honour to God.

Paul names 3 specific accusations made against his team:

  1. That they were using flattery to impress and win converts;
  2. That they were only after people’s money;

 

That they were doing it to get attention – they were glory hunters.
He addresses these in turn:

"FOR WE NEVER CAME WITH WORDS OF FLATTERY, AS YOU KNOW, NOR WITH A PRETEXT FOR GREED—GOD IS WITNESS. NOR DID WE SEEK GLORY FROM PEOPLE, WHETHER FROM YOU OR FROM OTHERS, THOUGH WE COULD HAVE MADE DEMANDS AS APOSTLES OF CHRIST."

I Thessalonians 2:5-6

David expressed his prayer that we in Windsor Baptist might never be justly accused of any of these things. He focused our attention on how Paul defends himself and his co-workers with the key phrase at the end of v.5:

"GOD IS WITNESS"

I Thessalonians 2:5

God sees and knows motives and attitudes as well as actions. In further response to these 3 accusations, Paul uses 2 metaphors to explain what he and his co-workers were really all about. First, he says they have been caring like a mother:

"BUT WE WERE GENTLE AMONG YOU, LIKE A NURSING MOTHER TAKING CARE OF HER OWN CHILDREN. SO, BEING AFFECTIONATELY DESIROUS OF YOU, WE WERE READY TO SHARE WITH YOU NOT ONLY THE GOSPEL OF GOD BUT ALSO OUR OWN SELVES, BECAUSE YOU HAD BECOME VERY DEAR TO US."

I Thessalonians 2:7-8

Second, they have been like a father exhorting and encouraging his children to live well:

"FOR YOU KNOW HOW, LIKE A FATHER WITH HIS CHILDREN, WE EXHORTED EACH ONE OF YOU AND ENCOURAGED YOU AND CHARGED YOU TO WALK IN A MANNER WORTHY OF GOD, WHO CALLS YOU INTO HIS OWN KINGDOM AND GLORY.

I Thessalonians 2:11-12

These 2 pictures provide the example for us today. And the reason all this matters – and mattered so much to Paul – was because the gospel Paul preached was backed up by the life he lived. There was no contradiction between the message and the messenger. How about us?

  • Thinking back over the past week, how did you ‘walk’? Was your conduct on Thursday afternoon (at work, at home, with friends etc) worthy of God?
  • How can we as a church gently love, care for and give ourselves to each other and those who need Jesus?
  • This week: Walk in a manner worthy of God.
Dorothy McMillan

Dorothy McMillan

I’m Dorothy and I coordinate the Deep Dives part of the WBC website. I’ve been a member of WBC for over 25 years and have worked as a teacher, playgroup leader and college lecturer. Now that I have retired, I enjoy doing patchwork, reading and spending time with our four wonderful grandchildren.
Dorothy McMillan
I’m Dorothy and I coordinate the Deep Dives part of the WBC website. I’ve been a member of WBC for over 25 years and have worked as a teacher, playgroup leader and college lecturer. Now that I have retired, I enjoy doing patchwork, reading and spending time with our four wonderful grandchildren.