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1 Thessalonians 5:12-28

Friday, 10 March 2023

May the God of peace himself make you entirely pure and devoted to God; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept strong and blameless until that day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes back again.– 1Thes.5:23 TLB

After Paul addresses several of the Thessalonian believers’ concerns about the Second Coming of Christ, he comes to the final part of giving them a few exhortations pertaining to Christian conduct. As they looked forward to the coming of the Lord, they still needed to be concerned about right living here on earth. This happens to many who in their fervor to see the Lord’s coming as quickly as possible, tend to forget the present and their duties in every sphere. There is a tendency to neglect several areas of our life if we don’t consciously make an effort. If we need to be kept blameless at the coming of the Lord, we need to live responsibly that our lives are sanctified and devoted to God.

A few of Paul’s exhortations in terms of the responsibilities of a Christian can be viewed thus:

· Respect-The leaders of the church or those who are in charge are to be shown respect. Everything goes in order if the head is alright. Just 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. Paul writes: “Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.” (V.13). How do we show respect to them? Hebrews 13:17 [NLT]: Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.

· Remind-Every other member of the body is to “live in peace with one another.” In the peaceful atmosphere of mutual respect, one can warn the idle, help the weak, encourage the disheartened (those who easily get discouraged) and while we are it, be patient with one another. Believers are to exercise patience with one another, as we correct and encourage, with the intention of building up the body of Christ. Romans 15:1 says: “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.”

· Renew- Coming to the individual, the instructions given in Verses 16-22 will keep him/her renewed if practiced: Rejoice, Pray, Give thanks in every circumstance! The joy of the Lord is the strength for a believer (cf.Neh.8:10). To pray without ceasing is to have a continual attitude of prayer- whether at home, office or engaged in any work, one can keep communicating with the Lord. In situations that are positive or negative, if the believer gives thanks to the Lord who is working things out according to His plan, it will be a great testimony. A believer is to cooperate with the Holy Spirit, not grieving Him. Prophecies are not to be disregarded when given. Everything is to be tested in the light of God’s Word and whatever is right and good is to be embraced.

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 to live a better Christian life. As we do that the Lord Himself will sanctify us wholly so that our spirit, soul and body may be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus.

Think on it: “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



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