Letters to the Thessalonians

This devotional is written by Rob Hyde.

1 Thessalonians 5 v 12-28

12Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.

23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26 Greet all God's people with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
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Reflection

This is Paul's final goodbye to the Thessalonian church. In his letter he has praised the church for being a great example of what a church should be. It took him 3 chapters to get to the meat of the letter, that's how much he was hyping them. He then wrote about heaven (it's where the classic 'thief in the night' phrase comes from) and that we should live all our days as our last, spreading the word about Jesus to everyone because he may come tomorrow!

In that context I think Paul now goes into detail about how we can live our days as our last. He tells us to encourage our leaders for they work hard to give us spiritual guidance. Don't slip into the habit of only talking to your leaders about the bad things or improvements. Talk to them and encourage them in what they’re doing well too. This not only goes for John or Matt, but for small group leaders, mentors, team leaders, parents, etc. Today, right now, turn off the app for a bit (but come back please), I challenge you to tell a leader what you really value about their guidance.

He also tells us to live peacefully with each other and to not stifle the holy spirit. These are things which I think we do well as a church, in our BCI-ing and taking every opportunity to pray and open ourselves to the spirit after services. With the Life Course just finishing and even Christmas services approaching, let's take time today to pray, seek the holy spirit and pray for our friends, family and those God has placed on our hearts. Who does he want us to BCI with? To bring along to the carol service? To invite to the Life Course? Jesus will be the best thing that's happened to them.

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