Posts Tagged ‘I Thessalonians’

A Bit of Everything

July 19, 2012

The message on Sunday Jul 15 was based on I Thessalonians 5:14-24.

Warn those who are unruly.  The Greek word translated unruly also means insubordinate or idle.  People who are not cooperating with godly leadership, whether by causing problems, or by not assisting in the work of the kingdom of God, should be warned that there are consequences for not fully engaging in the mission that God has called us to work.

Comfort the fainthearted.  I think of this, as those who are lacking the courage to strike out on the path that God has shown them.  God sometimes calls us to do things that are outside of our comfort zone.  We are sometimes called to take risks.  We should be bold to do what God has called us to do.

Uphold the weak.  A life of service to Christ can become draining.  We can work so hard for so long, that sometimes we grow weary.  We need to seek the strength that God offers, and use wisdom to guide our schedules.  We should encourage those who appear to be faltering.

Be patient with all.  This can be a challenge.  We are to treat all people with kindness, courtesy and respect, especially those who seem to deserve it the least.

See that no one renders evil for evil.  Paybacks is the way of the world.  We are called to be different.  Mercy and grace are not just things that we receive from God, but are things that we should extend to others.

Pursue what is good for yourself and for all.   Elsewhere in scripture we are told to “overcome evil with good” and that is the idea here as well.  We are not evil-doers, but doers of good.

Rejoice always.  Times can be difficult, but we can always rejoice in a God who loves us, and who will help us in times of need.

Pray without ceasing.  There are two aspects to this.  First we can continue to pray for concerns that have not yet been met.  We can continue to pray for the salvation of the unsaved, healing for the sick, help for those in various afflictions.  We do not pray once and then drop the matter.  Secondly, I believe that we are called to cultivate an attitude of prayer.  Prayer is communication with God.  God is always with us.  We can learn to develop a sense of the presence of God at all times.  I believe that is what it means to “walk in the Spirit”.

In everything give thanks.  It is easy to thank God for the good things.  We can even give thanks in the things that appear bad because we are told that ” all things work together for good”.  We may not be able to see, or understand exactly how this works, but we can trust God that it is true.

For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  This does not mean that it is God’s will that terrible things happen.  God has allowed human freedom, and humans sometimes use that freedom to do terrible things.  God is able to use even the most awful things to work for good, but it was not His will that caused them.  It is His will, that we give thanks in all things.

Do not quench the Spirit.  It is important for us to learn to be sensitive to the voice of the Spirit.  God will guide us, and use us in many ways if we are willing to listen, and be obedient to, the voice of the Spirit.

Do not despise prophecies.  Sometimes it may seem as if the same people are giving the same message over and over.  Sometimes a message is given in a way that does not have a very polished delivery.  We should recognize that God uses ordinary people to speak to us in extraordinary ways.

Test all things, hold fast what is good.  When we hear messages, it is appropriate to exam them closely.  We should compare them to the Word and ask God’s Spirit to grant us discernment.  It is like eating chicken.  You eat the meat, and discard the bones.

Abstain from every form of evil.  We are called to “cease to do evil, and learn to do good”.  As we mature in Christ we will be more and more able to distinguish between good and evil.  We should choose the good.4

I close with verses 23&24.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.