Choosing Godliness

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

Study Guide

Before Paul finishes his letter to the church of Thessalonica, he quickly lists several areas of a believer’s life where we must choose godliness. Each of these gives us direction and encouragement for any circumstances we are walking through and decisions we are making.
Application
  1. Where in your life do you have the opportunity to lean into a trial and let God work out patience, endurance, and growth in you?

  2. In what ways do you live a lifestyle of independence instead of dependence on God for everything? Has there been a time in your life where you felt more dependent on him? If so, what has changed?

  3. There is a way in which we can live that either diminishes God’s work in our lives or accelerates it. How are you yielding to him and what he wants to say and do through you? In what areas are you living contrary to Scripture?

  4. We need a new, invigorated understanding of the authority of Scripture. How are you orienting your life around the authority of Scripture? What disciplines do you have in place in your life to become more biblically literate?

  5. The decisions you might think are freeing will end up enslaving you—we are deceived into thinking the sin will fulfill us, that we are entitled to it, or that it will bring us freedom but it does not. Are you hiding sin and letting evil dwell in you? Who are you going to tell?

Key Points
  • We can be disciplined in joyfulness as our circumstances waver because of the unwavering strength of God. The gospel brings durability and transcendence in the midst of instability.

  • When trials come, we need to learn to lean into them. The pressure of being tested and having to endure puts us in a position to wait on God to work in us and through us.

  • When we are rejected by men, we have an opportunity to let patience and endurance grow us and lead us to a place where we don’t need the approval of men; we can let God draw us close to him, getting approval and connection from him alone.

  • We should live in a spirit of dependence—living a lifestyle that expects God to speak and lead.

  • When we thank God in every circumstance, good or bad, we draw ourselves outside of the moment and are reminded that God is working out the larger story of our lives and that it’s not about us.

  • Do the small things in front of you.

  • Regardless of whether or not we feel we are gifted with prophecy, we need to be open to the idea that God would want to use us in a prophetic way. We should be praying for the people around us and be open to the idea that God would want to use us to say something to them that aligns with Scripture.

  • We need to love someone else more than we love ourselves and be vulnerable enough to say hard things.

  • You can control your decisions but you cannot control the consequences of your decisions.

Scripture References