Bible Reference: 1 Thessalonians 5:14-22
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)
Bible Text: 14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. 15 See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. 16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 19 Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. 20 Do not scoff at prophecies, 21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. 22 Stay away from every kind of evil.
OBSERVATION: I wonder what type of characteristics we would come up with, if asked today to explain what a Follower of Christ should look like in character. There are some obvious character traits that we would list right off the top, but I believe we would immediately list the items that we feel we are doing OK in! But today we have the biblical account of those characteristics, so let’s pay close attention!
APPLICATION: As I read through these verses, I thought that it may only be necessary for me to show the scripture, as it would speak for itself. However, please allow me to list again the things that the Scripture say will identify those who follow Christ, or who are obedient to His will and His Word:
- Warn those who are lazy, or refuse to work, or take advantage of those who have;
- Encourage those who are timid or afraid;
- Take tender care of the weak – those who cannot care for themselves;
- Be patient with everyone – knowing that we all act, behave and see things differently;
- See that no one repays evil, or wrong, for evil – This tells me that we are to be like a referee, making sure that no one repays evil for evil, not even ourselves;
- Do good for each other and all people – this brings a new outlook for us, for we tend to do good to those who do good for us;
- Don’t stop the work of the Holy Spirit – careful to not being a stumbling block to those being impacted, and spoken to, by the Holy Spirit;
- Don’t scoff at prophecy, or treat it as unimportant – let us remember the revelation of prophecies in the Bible, and that we still sever the same God today who could give the gift of prophecy and the revelation of the same;
- Test what is spoken to you from the Word of God (have your Bible and validate what is being spoken);
- Hold tight to what is good – be ready to praise God for His good work among His people, and be ready to follow in their footsteps;
- Stay away from evil – don’t play with it, thinking that you are stronger than the evil thing. Stay far enough away from it.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for saving my soul! Thank You for giving my fellow believers and I guidance for everyday living. In and of our own sinful selves, we would not be led to do most of these things, nor do we have the power to do them in our own strength, so Lord I thank You from the bottom of my heart for this guidance today. My readers and I must depend on Your strength, Your guidance and Your wisdom to accomplish these things. Please have Your perfect will and way in our lives today. AMEN!