Relax and live

Good morning everyone,
 
Our theme for this month: “Knowing God”
 
Our Bible verse for today: “But we encourage you, brothers and sisters, to do this even more, to seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, so that you may behave properly in the presence of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone.” 1 Thessalonians 4:10-12 (CSB)
 
Our thought for today: “Relax and live”
 
This morning’s devotional is similar to one from last week. The reason I’ve chosen to revisit the lesson this morning is because it’s so important, and it’s something so many of us struggle with. Many of us have a wrong perception of God. We believe things about Him that simply are not true nor are they fair. We think God expects more from us than He really does.
 
God is not a harsh taskmaster. He has not constructed a rigid set of rules, regulations and expectations that He demands we adhere to. Instead, God is exceedingly kind and gracious with us, and He gives us lots of liberty to relax and enjoy life.
 
One of the best illustrations I’ve ever heard regarding this came from Dallas Willard. Dallas explained that when his children were young, he used to send them out to play in the fenced-in backyard. Once they were out there, they were free to play in the sandbox, swing on the swings, play catch, sit under a tree and read, or virtually any other activity they chose for themselves. The only requirement was that they behaved themselves according to the standards of conduct established for them by their father, and they had to stay within the boundaries of the fenced-in backyard. Beyond that, they were free to relax, enjoy, and choose their activities for themselves.
 
That’s how our Father in heaven deals with us. In the Bible He has given us the standards by which He wants us to live. Those are the boundaries within which we have to stay. But beyond that, for the most part (unless He has a special and specific task for us), we’re free to just go out and enjoy life, making our own choices. God’s expectations of us are not complicated, nor are they demanding or unreasonable.
 
This is the picture the Apostle Paul was painting in 1 Thessalonians 4:10-12. He was telling us that all God requires of us is to live a simple life that honors Him and blesses others, then relax and enjoy life. That’s our thought for today and it’s my encouragement for you. God isn’t expecting you to jump through an endless series of hoops. Just honor Him, bless others, then relax and live.
 
God bless,
Pastor Jim
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Copyright © 2021 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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