Striving Toward Higher and greater Responsibility: 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12

Good morning beautiful people, I am super delighted to see all of you again.

I hope you guys are safe and taking good care of yourself.

I hope you all are spiritually and physically healthy and fit.

Take good care of your physical health by doing exercise regularly and spiritually keep growing in the Lord.

You know, Its tragedy to see many beloved brothers and sisters died in many part of the world, and many are dying because of corona pandemic.

Church let us keep praying for all brothers and sisters who are going through hard time.

Let us pray that many people will come back to our living God at this chaotic situation.

Ezekiel 18:23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?

1 Timothy 2:4 4who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Beloved wherever we are, let us make use of every opportunity and every means and point the perishing soul to Christ.

Shall we look to God in Pray: Dear Lord we thank you for this time as we gonna spent some time together meditating your words, may you come and teach us and bless us in Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Paul says, 1 Cor. 13:11. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.

          When we were baby we consume only liquid food right, but when we grow up we change our diet, we start eating hard food, we eat by our self, in the same way we can’t act and behave like a child all the time, it’s time for all of us to take higher and greater responsibilities as a follower of Christ.

Paul urge Thessalonians that you guys need to take higher and greater responsibility, you can’t be in the same position always you need to grow in the Lord, you need to work more.

Believers taking up higher and greater responsibility is the overall focus we gonna meditate now.

Would you please open your bible with me to 1 Thess. 4:9-12? Read it.

1 Thessalonians 4:9-12

9Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.

10And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, (go higher and higher, more and more)

11and 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,

12so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

I would like to entitle my sermon as “Striving toward higher and greater Responsibility”

  1. 1.    Striving toward loving one another more and more. (9-10).

9Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.

10And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more.

There are 4 kinds of love in the bible. In Greek language they are called:

(1) Agape Love- Unconditional love. (Love of God)

(2) Storgi love– Affection (love between Family)

(3) Eros Love– Eroticism (Love between couple)

(4) Philia- love – Friendship (love between friends) or Brotherly

Here in verse 9 and 10, Apostle Paul is using Philia love, friendship love or brotherly love

Thessalonians scoring mark in loving one another is A+, Paul was so proud of their testimony, they were leading church in spreading gospel in all over the places,

they were living exemplary life, but Paul urge them again, you can still do better than A+,

love one another more and more, it means you don’t need to be just good, but you need to be excellent, excel in your conduct toward loving one another.

The Thessalonians did not just feel love for one another—they did love for one another – “And indeed you DO it toward all the brethren…” (4:10) They did not merely profess brotherly love—they expressed brotherly love with their action. This is exactly the teaching of the Scriptures: 1 John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

John 13:34-35, Jesus said,

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

35 By this everyone will know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another.”

Scripture remind us that if we love one another that will prove that we are Christ disciples.

On the other hand, Scripture says the absence of brotherly love is a prove that someone is not truly born again –

1 John 4: 20,21.

20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.

If we are not loving one another you are not born again????, a genuine and true born-again believer will obey Christ command and life according to His will and purpose.

Illustration: Philippians Church collect money for Apostle Paul while he was having hard time in Rome Jail. (This is Philia love brotherly love).

I saw many of our church believers donating gift to the people who going through hard time at this moment. That is brotherly love.

Many people around the world are help each other and encouraging each other, sharing each other burden, praying for another, Caring for one another.

This act of loving one another will prove that we are Christ disciples.

The scripture is urging to do this good works more and more

Application: Friends,

Are we loving one another?

Do you think you can love people around you more and more?

There is great power and happiness and blessings in loving one another.

Loving one another can change the world.

What if 7.8 billion people in this planet love one another? Stop hating each other?

And start caring for one another

The world will be a better place, you and I can bring the change.

You know folks, Apostle Paul knows the power of loving one another, and He is reminding us that we should love one another more and more as Christ has love us.

The world has experienced enough blood shed in history, in 1 world war 19 million people died, and in second world war 56 million people died,

We see humanitarian crisis in middle East, Europe and in many parts of the world, we see unending fight going on in middle east and in various part of the world

Why all these hates, killing and fight, it is because there is no love.

In 2003 an American band called Black Eyed Pies” released a hit song call

where is the love” the song has 529 million view in YouTube.

 The song starts with the sentence “what’s wrong with the world,”

This song is all about Condemn war, terrorism, killing, using chemical gas, gangster, selfishness, Madness of all evils that is happening around the world,

the chorus goes like this.

People killin’, people dyin’
Children hurt and you hear them cryin’
Can you practice what you preach?
And would you turn the other cheek?

Father, father, father help us
Send us some guidance from above

‘Cause people got me, got me questionin’
Where is the love? (Love)

Where is the love? (The love)
Where is the love? (The love)

Beloved, the world is hungry for Christ love, they are searching for an answer, we know  Jesus is the answer for this dying world, we have Christ love in us, let us Spread the Love of Christ and Let us conquer our family, our friends, our society, our nation and the world with Christ love.

  1. Strive toward leading a peaceful life. (11a)

And to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life”

We are to aim or strive for wuiet and peaceful life.

The word “quiet” here is a Greek verb that means to rest. hold peace, be quiet.

Paul reflects this thinking by saying that the goal of every Christian should be to lead a quiet, peaceful and tranquil life. we should seek a peaceful life without conflict with our community.

This quiet and peaceful life is not from the world this is from God,

John 14:27 Jesus said, peace I leave with you, my peace I gave to you.

Isaiah 9:6. Jesus is the price of peace.

So remember this quiet and peaceful life is fromGod.

I have beautiful hymn here written by Anne S Murphy. (1890).

There is a peace in my heart that the world never gave,
A peace it cannot take away;
Though the trials of life may surround like a cloud,
I’ve a peace that has come here to stay!

All the world seemed to sing of a Savior and King,
When peace sweetly came to my heart;
Troubles all fled away and my night turned today,
Blessed Jesus, how glorious Thou art!

Constantly abiding, Jesus is mine;
Constantly abiding, rapture divine;
He never leaves me lonely, whispers, O so kind:
“I will never leave thee,” Jesus is mine.

Why we should strive to live quiet and peaceful life?

Because peaceful living

  1. Peaceful living builds up good relationship with the people around us.

(Year ago we were living in Santacruz, we have very good Hindu neighbor, we share so many things together, but when we were about to leave the neighborhood, I remember the granny came over hug me and Phila and she was literally crying).

Because they don’t want us to leave.

And the other catholic neighbor they are sad too, they call me Father in their own catholic context, they told me to come back again, we had an emotional goodbye).

I learn a lesson that living peaceful life with people around is vital for every believer.

  • Living peaceful life Set a Christlike example for them.
  • Living peaceful life Show the world that we are peace loving and peaceful people.
  • To live peacefully with all people is a command from God. (Romans 12:18)
  • Most importantly, we can share good news to them.

In this hectic world, everyone is searching for quit and peaceful life,

Many people think if they have enough money, achieve their wildest dream,

their life will be peaceful, and

If they become famous and successful, they think they will have peaceful life.

But that’s not true materialistic things and fame and success that we see around is temporary and can’t give us the inner peace.

Perfect peace is found in Christ Jesus alone. 

Matthew 11: 28. Jesus said,

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.


Remember church, we are here to show the world that we have perfect peace given by our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us show the world our peaceful life in Christ, so that they will return to our Living God.

With that lets come to the 3rd points.

  1. Striving toward doing our own business and being productive (11b)

You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you”, (b)

This verse is telling us to do our own work by Using God-given talents and gifts.

This is a practical advice, considering the church was under persecution from the civil authorities as well as the Jews.  By “laying low” and minding their business, they avoided an increase of persecution.

Illustration: Apostle PAUL.

Paul wrote, “Mind your own business and work with your hands.” Paul was an apostle, but he also had a real job. He was a tentmaker. He worked with his hands to make tents and sell them so he could have money to live on. He didn’t want to be a burden to anyone.

1 Thess.2:9. Don’t you remember, dear brothers and sisters, how hard we worked among you? Night and day, we toiled to earn a living so that we would not be a burden to any of you as we preached God’s Good News to you.

Beloved Don’t let your life be a burden to someone else, may be your family, wife, husband, church, may be society, may be even nation.

Let us be like Paul and his team working day and night for living,

so that we won’t be burden to anyone but be a blessing to all people around us.

Paul says “Work with your hands” it means Living a productive life.

How can we live a productive life?

Illustration: I have short story of an Ant. (Proverb.6;6-11) Solomon the wise man said,

6.Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander, no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.

How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,  a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man.

I do not mean you guys are lazy and squanderer but what I mean to say is we can learn a great life Lesson from this little ant and be productive.

(1) Work smart (the Ant know when to work and how to work and they know where the food is) that’s smart right.

 (2) work hard (they work day and night and never get tired)

(3) Never give up. (they work until they achieve their dream)

(4) Be persistence. (they keep working and working).

Wise man Solomon remind us to learn these important lessons from an Ant.

I Have a quotation here:

“Wise people plan for 3 generation, fool plan for Saturday night”.

Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men”

Remember whatever we do, we are doing for God, for His glory and not for ourselves.


Are we striving toward minding our own business? or living a messy and lazy life?

And, are we living a productive life?

Ephesian 5: 15-17

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,

16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

17 Therefore do not be foolish but understand what the Lord’s will is.

Our life on earth is short, we don’t have time to squander around and waste our life,

Let’s work hard and take good care of the task God has assign us and let us live a productive life.

Finally, we come to our last point:

  1. Striving toward gaining respect and self-support. (12)

“So that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” (12)

This last point striving toward gaining respect and self-support is the result of obeying point 1, 2, and 3.

If we strive toward loving one another more and more,

If we strive toward leading quiet and peaceful life,

If we strive toward working our own affairs and living productive life.

We will win the respect of outsiders; these outsiders are people outside the church (unbelievers) and

We will not live depending on others but living a sufficient satisfied life.

Remember Believers must always bear in mind the impact of their conduct on those who are without faith. we must give the impression that we are our Lord’s ambassadors,

and our conduct must show the beauty of Christ.

Illustration: Last month we were in Dubai, I heard a beautiful story, of the works done by Christian missionary Doctors, In a year 1964 missionaries open a hospital, This hospital has help the people UAE in an extraordinary way, some of their great leaders Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed were born there in the hospital.

During their Country hard time Christian missionaries have done an amazing work, As a result, the Christian missionaries won a huge respect from Muslim friends. They have a high respect for each other.

The UAE government even donate a land to build churches. There is religion tolerance and freedom of religion in UAE.

It is Because of few faithful Christian missionaries; the younger generation are greatly blessed.

As a church we should win the respect of unbelievers around us so that we can build up good relationship with them and introduce them to Christ.

We should also take good care of our life, our life should not depend on others for daily needs, but like Paul and his team we should work hard and live a sufficient and satisfied life, our life should be an example to all people around us.


We have meditated together 4 points under the

topic: “Striving Toward Higher Greater Responsibility”

I want to remind you that you are not a child anymore, you are responsible men and women, you are an ambassador of Christ, we can’t be like baby anymore.

We must “Strive toward Higher and greater Responsibility”.

Remember we are on a mission from the King of kings and Lord of Lords.

Let us fight the good fight, let us be strong and be courageous.

We are generation builders; and we are the world changer.

Let us strive toward loving one another more and more,

Let us strive toward leading quiet and peaceful life,

Let us strive toward working our own affairs and live productive life.

Let us Strive toward gaining respect and self-support.

Remember, the world is desperately in need of Christ love,

Let us love them more and more and more.

We must be a channel of peace for this broken world by introducing our Lord Jesus,

the prince of Peace.

Let us work hard like an ant and live a productive life for Gods glory.

Finally, we must win the respect of people around us by showing the beauty of Christ in our life.

May God bless you and keep you and make His face shine on you.

Let’s Look to God in prayer.


Author / Preacher

Wungmathing Zimik

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