A Person of Impact

Read This Week: 1 Thessalonians 5

But you, brothers and sisters, are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. Since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Live in peace with each other, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. – 1 Thessalonians 5

Everyone wants to make a difference in their life. Everyone, no matter who you are or where you’re from, wants to leave a legacy. Everyone wants to make a positive impact on the world. The content of 1 Thessalonians 5 contains various elements needed to become a person of impact and from this passage, here are 5 things that impactful people do:

Know Their Identity
After reminding them to be ready for Jesus’ return and how that should inform their lives, Paul simply told the Thessalonians to be who they are. Be the people of light that God made them in Christ. The time when they were in darkness and about the things of the night, is in the past. Impactful people know this truth. They know their great purpose in Christ, they don’t go back to the behavior that will weaken and nullify their influence, and they live up to what God created them to be.

Trust God
Paul reminds the Thessalonians that they can trust God. He is trustworthy. He doesn’t lie and his word is real and sufficient for life. Impactful people know this too and their contagious, unshakeable confidence comes from their trust in his promises no matter what challenges or circumstances come their way.

Do Good Things
Impactful people work hard and do good things. They don’t get even with people who’ve done them wrong. They aren’t disruptive to others, but instead, encourage and build them up. They manage time well so that their gifts, abilities, passions, and experiences can be used for the glory of God, the good of others and for their own joy.

Get the Most Out of Life
Instead of obsessing over the circumstances they don’t have, difference makers get the most out of the ones they do. They live in peace and put their focus on doing good things in their current place and maximizing opportunities at the moment. They embrace the things that God desires for them and reject that which is unhealthy and destructive.

Are Faithful
Everyone starts well but impactful people finish well. They have what the author, Eugene Peterson calls “long obedience in the same direction” or better known as faithfulness. Paul says in verse 24 that the One who calls you is faithful and will bring all things to completion. A person of real influence allows the knowledge of this truth to carry them through life with patience and faithfulness to their work, relationships and walk with God.

May we strive for these characteristics to be true of us and underwrite every endeavor we attempt so our lives can be impactful.


  1. Brecken on May 14, 2019 at 12:13 am

    This is such a powerful message. Paul shows us in this chapter how to strive and to be not afraid. As a young person, it can be difficult to grasp the understanding of who you are. Most relevant, the important aspect of the journey is to understand your own purpose. In this chapter, I feel Paul relates to all believers in discussing the trust of God’s path. One must be patient to see how the Lord can work in one’s life. Even at a young age, we may not know an “identity”, but can discover our purpose. Finding the good in what we can do for others, as well as using God’s message, can bring hope and joy to others. It will be substantial in making the most out of this life. When we maintain this mindset as a family of believers, we will be equipped to make a difference in the world as well as our own life.

    • Ken on May 14, 2019 at 2:12 pm

      Having a life with Christ, gives you an extreme advantage while you are young. God gives you His wisdom, even thought you may not have the life experiences to obtain that wisdom and His wisdom is the best! Likewise, When you’re born again, you become God’s son, and He is in you and you are in Him. At that point to have a new perfected identity in Christ and as you get to know Jesus more and share your life with Him, you grow more and become more and more like Him.

      My hope and prayer Is that when people interact with me, they are interacting with me and Christ through me. I am in Him and He is in me. My everything, including my identity is in Christ.

      Got a saying “I made you perfect, just as I am perfect in you.”

      I want to challenge all of us to get to know Jesus more and to share our life more with Him and all of His family.

      • Jason on May 14, 2019 at 3:17 pm

        I desire the same, Ken. For people to authentically see Christ in my life as they interact with me even in the menial things that should be routine. Thanks for that reminder.

    • Jason on May 14, 2019 at 3:12 pm

      This is such an insightful comment, Brecken. Thank you for sharing. It seems like you have practical and philosophical thoughts about discovering who one is and how that is shaped and fashioned by God over time. That’s a good spiritual and intellectual pursuit and thought process to begin at any point in life. I would add that when we have a real awareness that we were created by God, but especially with care and meticulousness (Psalm 139:13; Romans 1), we have a deeper sense of who we are and our eternal value as human beings. This is an important foundational truth to know and understand as we discover our identity and therefore, our purpose.

      In fact, I think it is very difficult to find our identity inside ourselves because we are shaped by environment, relationships, culture and nurturing (positive and negative) in addition to the fact that our emotions are untrustworthy. We are not who we think we are. We are not who other people think we are but unfortunately a lot of the time, we base our identity and self-worth on both of those things. That’s why our identity must be found in our relationship with God in Christ.

      This is what Paul is reminding the Thessalonians who were persecuted in their pursuit of doing good things. He wanted to take them back to the core of their identity in Christ so it would serve to inspire, encourage and inform them of their purpose even as it was becoming more difficult. As believers, who we are is pivotal to what we do.

      I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this aspect. Thank you again for your great word.

    • Kathy on May 21, 2019 at 12:58 pm

      Awesome comment Brecken! Thanks for sharing.

  2. almaschmidt on May 16, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    This week, through the message and ladies’ lunch, God put a song on my heart:

    “Pleasing You”

    We want to please you, please you, Jesus
    Walk with you in your Love
    Walk with you in your love
    Receiving, sharing and giving your love
    Your love, oh Lord
    We will be in peace
    Your amazing peace
    Pleasing you, pleasing you
    We are your children
    Your children wanting to please you, oh Lord

    God was saying to me that He Loves when we feel and share in His love. Sometimes, it might be just a hug or a simple word of encouragement but others will feel his love and peace through us and his Spirit. Always remember, God loves you.

    • Jason on May 17, 2019 at 10:55 am

      Thank you for that beautiful reminder of the love God has for us and that He wants us to express to others, Alma. It is so true that when we show love and encouragement to others, we never know how it will impact their day or life which is why we should always express it. Your song made me think of one that I’ve been listening to lately with a similar message called, “Your Love Awakens Me”:

      There were walls between us
      And by the cross, you came and broke them down
      You broke them down
      And there were chains around us
      By Your grace, we are no longer bound
      No longer bound

      You called me out of the grave
      You called me into the light
      You called my name and then my heart came alive

      Your love is greater
      Your love is stronger
      Your love awakens, awakens, awakens me
      Your love is greater
      Your love is stronger
      Your love awakens, awakens, awakens me

  3. Sam Centers on May 16, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    I learned this week that we must do everything in us, and in His power to help and show our Father’s love to others. If they don’t respond to him at that time, we must still plant the seed. Then we pray that they will open up there lives to Him because I know and trust that is what He has entrusted in all of us.

    • Jason on May 17, 2019 at 11:04 am

      This is good encouragement, Sam. The part that stuck out to me was: “If they don’t respond to him at that time, we must still plant the seed.” That seems to be the challenge sometimes. We want an instant response, change, and adjustment from people but God may have a different plan, path, and process for them. Trusting Him and that truth is difficult but so important in ministering and witnessing to people. Thanks for the reminder that we are to be faithful in both seed planting and watering but that God ultimately does the saving and changing.

  4. Jeri Centers on May 17, 2019 at 12:12 am

    In 1 Thessalonians 5 verse 9, God is saying to me that His wrath is saved for those who do not believe in Jesus as their savior. The thing that saves us is believing in our heart that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day and then confessing him with our mouth. We obtain salvation through Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the door we must enter to reach the Father. When we enter him, heaven is on the other side.

    • Jason on May 17, 2019 at 11:24 am

      Jeri, thank you for sharing your heart from 1 Thessalonians 5. As I read your comment, I was moved by the simple message of how God saves and was reminded that Christians still need to hear the gospel too. I appreciate your post and recalling to my heart what Jesus did for me and all those who believe.

  5. Heidi on May 20, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing.
    So thankful for Paul And all he had learned from God. Love learning from Paul sharing and teaching us about God.
    God is our biggest encourager, the one who helps us and guides us as we spend time with Him
    God loves it when we listen and respond to Him!
    When we spend time with God, talking to Him, listening to Him first He blesses us, He builds us up,
    Gives us the strength we need in life.
    God blesses us with the people He puts in our to encourage them and do life with them, and He loves to flow through others to us to!
    Thank you God for all the people who encourage us from your heart!!

  6. Kathy on May 21, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    God was saying to me through this chapter 5, You should be who you are. You were of the night and of the darkness in your past. I want you to be ready for the return of my son Jesus Christ. If you are in darkness then you are not ready and need to make yourself ready for His return. You are not equipped to live the Christian life without faith and love. You are rescued from my wrath, the wrath that you deserve. When my son died on the cross, He stood in your place as a substitute. You have obtained salvation and will always be with Him.Esteem your leaders very highly in love. Be at peace among yourselves. Be patient with all. Rejoice in happy things and in sorrows also. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for it is my will. Grace means you can stop working for my love and start receiving it.

    I do struggle sometimes with believing He loves me this much, and that I am worthy of Jesus dying on the cross as a substitute for me when I do deserve the wrath for my sins instead. It is easy for me to love on others, as I find so much joy in that, just not as good at loving myself. Thank you Jesus that you will never leave me and as I continue to draw near to You Lord, I will believe this more and more.

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