A Quiet Example

Watering the Tulips

May 7th 2015


“…that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing”1 Thessalonians 4:11-12


Zeal…outspokenness…loud proclamations…boldness. These are all characteristics that we often think about when we consider what it means to be a faithful believer these days. As I log into social media, I am often bombarded with believers who seem to believe it’s their duty to lead a loud, outspoken life – to get into everybody else’s business. This seems to be what is perceived to be “properly walking toward those who are outside”. However, our text verse says something altogether different.


Believers must “aspire to lead a quiet life”. Have we forgotten that Jesus was “gentle and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29)? Certainly, there was a time for Jesus to stand up. However, those times were calculated and proper. They were not random events that weren’t thought through. And get this – they were generally aimed at the religious of the day! Sinners Jesus reached out to. Sinners Jesus loved. This angered the religious right of Jesus’ day and it angers the same group today.


We are told again in 1 Timothy 2:2 that we are to seek to lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” Quiet? Peaceable? These seem opposite of what we envision a believer’s life to be these days. Are not the most outspoken fanatics the most faithful? Aren’t we weak when we seek to “lead a quiet and peaceable life”? Not at all. Actually, when we seek to do that, we are living a Christ-like life.


But didn’t the apostles turn the world upside down (Acts 17:6)? Yes…that, they did. The way they sought to do that, however, may surprise you. They were, perhaps, living under the most wicked government to date. As if Nero’s lifestyle wasn’t enough, the Roman Coliseum was often used as a feeding bowl for all kinds of animals with Christians as the main course. So, what did the apostles do that was labeled as “turning the world upside down”?


Judging by today, one would think Paul and Silas became political activists. One may assume that they spent their time in the Roman judicial system trying to fight for the rights of believers. One might even think they spent their time trying to unseat Caesar and have him replaced by somebody saved under their ministry. However, that is entirely incorrect. That’s not at all what they did. They surely turned the world upside down. But, their interest was not political in nature. Paul and Silas spent their time spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Only the Gospel (when empowered by the Spirit – 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5) can truly change lives.


When standing before Pilate, Jesus told Pilate that His servants weren’t fighting for the things of this world because His kingdom isn’t of this world (John 18:36). One must surely wonder when this changed. Lord, help us to get back to the Commission – reaching the lost with the Good News that You have died for sinners!


Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL.  For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net .  “Your App to the Gospel” can be downloaded at iTunes for iPhone, iPad and IPod Touch, Google Play for Android, the Windows Phone Marketplace, and the Windows Store for Windows 8/8.1 based tablets and computers.  Please download it today!

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