DATE POSTED: Tuesday, 2023-03-07
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-14
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)
BIBLE TEXT: 12 Brothers and sisters, we ask you to show appreciation to those who are working hard among you and those who are your leaders as they guide and instruct you in the Lord—they are priceless. 13 When you think about them, let it be with great love in your heart because of all the work they have done. Let peace live and reign among you.
14 Brothers and sisters, we strongly advise you to scold the rebels who devote their lives to wreaking havoc, to encourage the downcast, to help the sick and weak, and to be patient with all of them.
OBSERVATION: Many times, churches will split over division among its members, or if a conflict was not handled according to everyone’s wishes, even if Biblical instruction was closely followed. Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is teaching the church how to avoid division and instead, see the work of the Lord flourish for the glory of God. That’s what we do in our homes, we insist on good conduct from our kids, and we demonstrate a great example before them every day, as instructed by God in His Word. Surely we can see the same success at church, right? Let’s see what might be missing.
APPLICATION: Why would God need to teach us about good Christian conduct, shouldn’t non-Christians be the target of such lessons? I’m glad you asked, because we all must be reminded that until we reach the gates of Heaven, none of us are perfect in our conduct here on earth. Satan is just too busy. That’s why we have law enforcement, courts and prisons. Just in case you are living off the grid and not keeping up with the news, there are many ‘Christians’ in prison also, for they too are being punished for disobedience to man’s laws. Many Christian marriages end in divorce, and many kids from Christian homes wind up in trouble just like their counterparts from non-Christian homes. Here are some principles that God wants us to be reminded of for His church. Perhaps if properly considered and applied in our church environment, we might also practice more Christlikeness in our homes:
- Show appreciation towards workers and leaders (vs 12) – Imagine if this was practiced in our homes. Son, you did a great job mowing the lawn today, here’s some money to take you and a friend to the movies this weekend. OR, thank you Dad for working so hard to help our family enjoy such a comfortable lifestyle, for it truly hurts when I see some of my school pals come in tattered clothes, worn out shoes, and they hardly ever enjoy a good lunch at school. Don’t you know that this same attitude will carry over by these types of individuals while at church and seeing the mission of our Lord Jesus accomplished? Paul reminds us that this type of attitude will be ‘priceless’!
- Develop a heart of love for your church workers (vs 12) – From a heart of love, you will bless, encourage, congratulate, thank, pray for and love those who work tirelessly in your church. Yes, they may ‘step on your toes’ every week as they teach, preach, admonish and try to help you walk the narrow way that leads to heaven. But remember, they are responding as honestly as they could to what they feel compelled of God to teach, preach, administer and promote.
- Let peace live and reign in your heart (vs 13) – While we serve an awesome and all-powerful God who is very capable of loading you up with as much peace as you could handle, I believe that the Holy Spirit, who lives inside the Christian, will lead you into being a peacemaker in your marriages, in your homes, in your jobs and especially in your own minds as you speak with God each day, and from your meditation on the Word of God each day. The Bible is very clear that what is fed into your heart, will be reflected in the words you speak, the attitude of praise that you offer up to God and in your encouragement to workers of the Gospel. Seek to ingest the love, power and encouragement of the God who created you and stands ready to help you through every circumstance of life. Be sure that you can recognize His power that works for good inside of you.
- Scold the rebels, encourage the downcast, help the sick and weak, and be patient with all of them – Friends, whether you personally fit in these descriptions by Paul, or if you just approve of your church and its leaders doing these things, know that each action is important, when handled in accordance with God’s Word. God didn’t mince His words when showing us, and telling us that we are sinners, but He does this from a heart of love for His creation. We imitate His discipline in our homes with our children. If we don’t discipline, do we truly love our kids? Helping the sick and those who cannot help themselves has almost gone by the wayside, all in the name of ‘COVID’. People who need us desperately are still waiting for us to be the hands and feet of Jesus. How are you doing with that? Lots of excuses we could find why we don’t visit the sick and help the weak, but if Jesus didn’t find any excuses in being there for us, so we should also not allow excuses when needs arise by those we know and hear about. Lastly, be patient with the rebels – remember, most of us were, and some still are, rebels! Be patient with the downcast, especially those who remain down and out even after you feel like you have done more than your share. Jesus didn’t give up on us, and we should imitate that characteristic when trying to encourage others. Be patient with the sick and the weak. Jesus may be trying to teach you something from the persistent and lasting help that you offer!
Especially when church workers are not paid for their time, they devote to ensure you are always ministered to, they may easily give up if they feel no one appreciates what they are doing. Encouraging the paid and unpaid workers will boost their enthusiasm to go on until Jesus returns! May you hear ‘Well done my child’ from the Master because of your prayers, support and encouragement to workers of the church aiming to present the full gospel to all who attend and all in their mission field.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: God blesses us, and He also sends us to bless others in His name. May the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable to You, Oh Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer!
PRAYER: To read Your Word, Oh Lord, is to realize that You know exactly what goes on in our minds what tends to discourage us, when we accept the challenges of ministry and try to do our very best in promoting Your love and mercy to Your children – churched and unchurched. It is so unfortunate that we tend to depend more on our human needs and wants while depending on our human desire for praise and appreciation. You went to Calvary after much humiliation and hung on a cross, as if powerless to do anything about it, although You are God and capable of doing everything. Speak to Your children today dear Lord and help us to always follow Your will while seeking to serve you in every way. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please 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 might 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 Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!