Bible Reference: 1 Thessalonians 5:14–22
Bible Text: 14 My friends, we beg you to warn anyone who isn’t living right. Encourage anyone who feels left out, help all who are weak, and be patient with everyone. 15 Don’t be hateful to people, just because they are hateful to you. Rather, be good to each other and to everyone else. 16 Always be joyful 17 and never stop praying. 18 Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do. 19 Don’t turn away God’s Spirit 20 or ignore prophecies. 21 Put everything to the test. Accept what is good 22 and don’t have anything to do with evil.
Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Paul in the conclusion of his letter to the church at Thessalonica, shared some parting words that ring out as being very timely advice for Christians even today. Meditate on these things friends, and ask God to give you wisdom and strength to apply them in your life each day. Here are the highlights:
- Warn those are not living right – this shows love, friends. If you love them you will care enough to warn them in love. You never stop to consider how they might respond if you warned them of a natural disaster heading our way, so warning them about their ultimate, eternal destination is far more critical;
- Encourage those who feel forsaken – remind them of the love of Jesus for all, not just the rich, or just those important to society, but for all;
- Help the weak – some are just unable to help themselves, and one day that might be your position in life. Be willing and ready to help those who are unable to help themselves;
- Be patient with everyone – of course everyone may not be the perfectionist that you are. Of course they may not be able, or willing, to do everything you do. Just as God is not finished with every detail of your life, He may still be working on the one you are impatient with. Furthermore, God may be using that particular scenario to deepen this particular characteristic – patience!
- Don’t be hateful to people because they may have been hateful to you. Instead, be good to others;
- Always be joyful;
- Never stop praying;
- Because of what Jesus did for you, always be thankful;
- Don’t try to escape the Holy Spirit or the prophecies, but try to prove them;
Friends, I could find something to share on each item, but I believe you will agree with me that it would benefit us to pin this list up somewhere handy so that we might be constantly reminded of the way we should strive to live. As we do this, I believe we will grow more and more to be like Jesus. We need this, and the world needs to see this so that they might know that we are, who we say we are.
Lord Jesus, we are so weak and so susceptible to the attraction of this world, that we are often misrepresented as children of the world rather than children of God. Please forgive us for our failure to honor You and Your Holy Word. Through Your servant Paul, You have taught us about characteristics that would help us to imitate the qualities of the true and living God. Lord, we want to be just like You, and we want the world to see enough in our character that they might see a ‘better way’ the way to the cross – the way to Jesus. Please touch, and empower Your children once again today Lord. Please fix our eyes on You and give us the will to lay aside the desires of this world for the overwhelming joy of being more like You so that we may serve You better and more effectively. I ask these things in the awesome and powerful name of Jesus, Son of the living God, AMEN!
If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!