1 Thes 5
Vs 13 … Be at peace among yourselves.
Vs 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
Vs 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.
Vs 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Vs 21 … test everything; hold fast what is good.
Vs 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
Vs 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.
Vs 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
It is remarkable the all-encompassing, extreme language Paul is using to the church for expected behavior …
Who are we to encourage, help, and be patient with? … ALL!
Who should we repay with evil? … NO ONE!
When should I seek to do good? … ALWAYS!
When should I rejoice? … ALWAYS!
When should I pray? … WITHOUT CEASING!
When should I be thankful? … in ALL circumstances!
What should I test for goodness? … EVERYTHING!
What evil should I abstain from? … EVERY!
And how will they be sanctified? … COMPLETELY!
With how much of their spirit? … their WHOLE spirit!
This seems impossible!
But who will actually be doing this work? “God, Himself”!
Being a Christian is not a part time gig.
Being a Christian is full time work. … Always … without ceasing … for all!
I like to think I can do some “spiritual disciplines” … pray, read the bible, go to church, etc.
Like they’re going to the gym for a little work out before getting on with the rest of my day.
But Paul is most concerned with how I’m thinking about and interacting with others in every given moment.
Am I seeking good ALWAYS?
Am I being patient, and helping, and encouraging with EVERYONE?
Do I like to pick and choose my moments of when or who I am patient or good?
Paul leaves no room for “picking and choosing”.
He says “always and everyone”!
Paul does, however, ask me to be discerning.
He wants to pick and choose what is good.
This mean I must have an awareness of EVERYTHING around me.
What circumstances am I allowing myself in and encouraging other in?
Ultimately, though, how will any of this be accomplished?
It is God, Himself, doing the work within me.
I simply “work out” what He has “worked in”.
Thank you God for your word
And thank you for your forgiveness when I fail it.
Help me see every moment and every one with the Spirit’s eyes
In Jesus name