Today you should read: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28
Paul gives very clear commands at the ending of 1 Thessalonians. Throughout the book, Paul has been commending, encouraging, and teaching them about how they have lived and how they need to continue living. In our section, Paul gives 17 brief but important commands in verses 12-22 (17 is what I counted). And while the commands are brief, I believe the purpose of the commands is seen in verse 23: Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The point of the commands is so that our whole spirit, soul, and body would be blameless when Jesus returns a second time.
The commands are:
- Respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord
- Esteem them very highly in love because of their work
- Be at peace among yourselves
- Admonish the idle (lazy)
- Encourage the fainthearted
- Help the weak
- Be patient with them all
- See that no one repays anyone evil for evil
- Always seek to do good to one another and everyone
- Rejoice always
- Pray without ceasing
- Give thanks in all circumstances
- Do not quench the Spirit
- Do not despise prophecies
- Test everything
- Hold fast to what is good
- Abstain from every form of evil
I have listed these out for you, because I want you to go through the list and examine your own life. Which commands are you being obedient in? Which commands are you being disobedient in?
Our job as Christians is to resemble Jesus in every aspect of our life. So if we are failing in even one of these categories then our job is to work on that area so that we are more like Jesus. If we are being honest, we all probably fail in keeping all of these. But as verse 23 reminds us, God is the one who will help us become more like Jesus: “may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely”. We just have to allow Him to do it and trust that He will.
By: Brice Stockton — Student Ministry Apprentice
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