1 Thessalonians 5:12-28
Friday, 30 December 2022
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1Thes.5:16-18
As we approach the end of a year and the dawn of another year, it is appropriate to evaluate our lives to see if we are aligned with God’s purpose or if we have deviated from it! Often the question is asked about the purpose of God in each of our lives!
Romans 8:29 gives God’s purpose for us – “Christ-likeness!” But how do we ensure our reaching there? Are we in the process of being transformed? This is the one thought that should capture our attention as we enter the new year – that I should grow in my pursuit to be Christ-like. If I do not fulfill my Creator’s purpose for me, then what is the meaning of my life? As we see many destructive people around us in this world, as evil and sin increase – we wonder how they can do it? Well, the answer— they all have one thing in common: Christ-less-ness! They either have no purpose or a different purpose in life! The Bible is God’s word – it defines the plan of God for each individual and it clearly tells us how to conduct our lives so that we may be transformed into the likeness of Christ!
The process of becoming Christ-like is made practical through the many references explaining the will of God for us! Today’s reading points us to a set of directives explaining the will of God – these are practical instructions, if practised will make us grow in our Father’s purpose of growing towards the image of His Son – Jesus Christ. But very often we wonder if it is possible to practice the things required by the Bible? The answer is— with the help of the Holy Spirit it is possible! But the starting point is our willingness. When we study Romans 12:1&2, we are given two options -either to be conformed to the world or to be transformed!! When we choose to be transformed, God will help us through the Holy Spirit, whom He gives to those who obey Him – Acts 5:32!
Our reading highlights a few areas to take control of and focus on, to improve. The Church is not an organization but, an organism – there is a pattern in which this organism behaves! Every part of that organism must cooperate and reciprocate; operate in unison to ensure it is living according to its design. 1Thes.5:12 & 13 says how each of us should regard the leader of each congregation! Everything goes in order if the head is alright. As Jesus Christ is the Head of the universal body of Christ (Church), the pastor (the shepherd) is the head of the local body - having charge over each member and giving instructions as they receive from the Lord.
The next area focused in verse 13 is every other member of the body – “Live in peace with one another.” This takes us to the next level of living- admonish, encourage, help and accommodate! “Be patient with everyone” (vs14) can be exercised by not taking revenge, but, seeking to do good to others!!
However, the next few verses talks about how we should reciprocate:
· always rejoice
· always pray
· always give thanks.
This is the will of God for each one of us. We have the option always to keep focusing on the negative aspects of life – but we also have the option to focus on the positive aspects – it is our choice! When we see life through the eyes of optimism we will rejoice and be thankful – that creates the right mind set to pray! Apostle Paul when imprisoned, proved through his life how one can be rejoicing and prayerful even in the toughest situation!
In our pursuit of Christ-likeness, let us cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He points to us the areas we need to align in our lives and may the new year bring us one more step closer to that goal!
Think on: “Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion - it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.”— Billy Graham