Complete 1 Thessalonians 1:9:
For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to…
If you chose number 10 you were correct.
Let me put the whole verse together:
For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God… 1 Thessalonians 1:9
This is what the Christian life is all about – serving the living and true God. It doesn’t matter how we serve him. We may serve him in large ways or small ways. That’s up to him. But the point is is we are to live to serve God. Whether our lives improve or not. Whether we find success in this world or not. It’s not about success. It’s not about personal fulfillment. It’s about serving the living and true God.
In fact at times our lives will not “improve.” They will get harder. We will be persecuted. We’ll suffer trials of various kinds. But that doesn’t matter as long as we are serving the living and true God.
At times it won’t seem worth it in this life (though it always is). But it will definitely be worth it in the next life.
Years ago I heard someone preach a message on this passage:
For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep… Acts 13:36
The preacher said this is what it’s all about – to serve God’s purpose in our generation. Not our own purposes, not our own selfish ambitions, but God’s purpose. This really affected me as a young believer and I wanted to do this. And I wrote a song about it– the music is kind of corny now but the words are still true:
I want to serve the purpose of God in my generation
I want to serve the purpose of God while I am alive
I want to live my life for something that will last forever
Oh I delight, I delight to do your will.
Do you want to live your life for something that last forever? If we live for anything else we are living for things that will pass away.
David served the purpose of God in his own generation and fell asleep. Wouldn’t it be great if people said that about you at your funeral? “She served the purpose of God in her generation.” Wouldn’t that be great to have on your tombstone? “He served the purpose of God in his generation.”
Lord Jesus, help us live to serve the living and true God. Let us serve your purpose in our generation.
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Mark Altrogge has been senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, Pennsylvania, since 1982. He has written hundreds of songs for worship, including “I Stand in Awe” and “I’m Forever Grateful.” Mark and his wife, Kristi, have four sons and one daughter.
Find out more on his blog, The Blazing Center.