Do You Obey the Bible?

1 Thessalonians 3:6 – But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you…

Paul loved the church he planted, but he had to leave it suddenly shortly after planting it due to mobs and a riot (Acts 17:1-9). In his absence, critics and enemies started a somewhat successful smear campaign to discredit Paul and destroy what he had taught them. 

Without the kind of communication technology we have today, Paul was not getting many updates and was concerned. So, Paul sent his faithful right-hand man, Timothy, along with other godly leaders who would continue the ministry they began, lead and feed the new Christian flock, and bring back a report to Paul about how they were faring. 

These Christians knew little, but they obeyed and believed what they had been taught. Today, the opposite is sadly true. Most Christians know a lot but obey and believe little. The Bible repeatedly says that learning + obeying = blessing. 

  • In John 13:17, Jesus said, “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”
  • In Luke 11:28, Jesus said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
  • In James 1:22, Jesus’ half-brother James said, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”

When Paul receives the report about the church at Thessalonica, he hears how they were obeying what he had been teaching. Importantly, Paul had taught them that they were not just “destined” by God for salvation, but also for suffering (3:3). Paul did a good job teaching them that while God loved them, Satan hated them, and that while Heaven was their home, the world was their temporary residence. Until they are home with God, they will suffer a bit like Jesus in this world. 

How have you seen the process of learning + obeying = blessing work practically in your own life?

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