We, as Christians, have something we must remember. We are citizens of the earth, but after we came to recognize Jesus Christ, our home became heaven.
That being said, if we forget where we came from and where our true home is, we may begin to falter in our faith.
This passage in Thessalonians is about how we should live not as citizens of the planet, but permanent residents of heaven.
This passage, while it may seem to be a meaningless introduction, is actually extremely important. In this passage, Paul is writing a letter to his followers after he was exiled. He is thanking his followers for practicing his teaching, even though they are being persecuted for their beliefs.
At this point, Paul's concern is that the pressures of everyday life and persecution have caused the Thessalonians to abandon their faith in order to fit in or appear normal, since their church is a relatively new one at this point.
However, when Paul discovers this was not the case, he writes an encouraging letter to them praising them for being obedient to God, even though they did not have Paul watching over them. Knowing that God was watching them and judging them based on their actions was enough for the Thessalonians to abandon their sinful ways and adopt the teachings of Christ.
How does this translate into our everyday lives? We must not allow the pressures of modern society and new "standards of living" to interfere with our decision and commitment to our savior, Lord Jesus Christ.
Even though at times it may inconvenience you to pursue the way of God, (and it is often difficult,) the reality is that faith in Christ and living as he commands is more important and valuable than any
Another thing that accompanies our Christian life is a new identity.
Whenever we are born again, we assume not only a saved soul and a total forgiveness for the actions we've committed, but we assume a new identity as well.
Assuming this new identity implies that we are not to behave in the same manner that used to bring sin into our lives, but to act in a way that is glorifying to God and exemplifies our new Christian morality.
There are marks of the Christian faith Paul speaks of in this passage:
Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;