The Bible THANKS GOD…. for people… what a remarkable statement –> ever wonder sort of people get THANKED by scripture? – I’ll give you a hint – it’s people who are passionate – this week we talked about how to find passion for living, and how to live a life on purpose for something bigger than yourself. 

Sermon Helps

1 Thessalonians 1:2 (NIV) We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.

1 Thessalonians 4:11–12 (NIV) 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

1 Thessalonians 5:12–15 (NIV) 12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

2 Thessalonians 3:6–15 (NIV) 6 In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” 11 We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. 13 And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good. 14 Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.

Romans 12:1–2 (NIV) 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

It is one of the favorite tricks of this Sin to dissemble itself under a cover of a whiffling activity of body. We think that if we are busily rushing about and doing things we cannot be suffering from Sloth. . . . Gluttony offers a world of dancing, dining, sports, and dashing very fast from place to place to gape at beauty spots. . . . Covetousness rakes us out of the bed at an early hour in order that we may put pep and hustle into our business; Envy sets us to gossip and scandals, to writing cantankerous letters to the paper, and to the unearthing of secrets and scavenging of desk bins; Wrath provides (very ingeniously) the argument that the only fitting activity in a world so full of evil doers and evil demons is to curse loudly and incessantly: “Whatever brute and blackguard made the world”; while Lust provides that round of dreary promiscuity that passes for bodily vigor. But these are all disguises for the empty heart and the empty brain and the empty soul of Acedia. . . . In the world it calls itself Tolerance but in hell it is called Despair. – Dorothy Sayers

But why was Jesus suffering? Where was his passion and sacrifice coming from? In John 17, Jesus Christ looks at his disciples and says to the Father, “For them I sanctify myself” (John 17:19). The original word “sanctify” meant to set yourself apart like an Olympic runner. We know what it means to train for the Olympics. It means that absolutely everything in life is subordinated to one goal. It means that every minute of the day, every activity is done in such a way as to contribute to that aim. There is a great deal of pain every day, but it is endured without complaint. Only that level of passion and commitment can earn the gold. And so it was with Jesus and his passion. He set himself apart for the goal of our salvation. He lost everything, endured everything, to obtain it. Jesus Christ’s passion was for you and for his Father—not for himself.  You are adopted into God’s family, so you already have your affirmation. You are justified in God’s sight, so you have nothing to prove. You have been saved through a dying sacrifice, so you are free to be a living one. You are loved ceaselessly, so you can work tirelessly in response to a quiet inner fullness. – Tim Keller