30 August 2015
Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5; Psalm 51
12 Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. 13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other. 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. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-18 NLT)
Paul’s letter to the Christ-followers in Thessalonica is so practical. When I read through this chapter and get to his closing paragraphs, I think, “If we would just do these simple things, we’d have a pretty good grip on what it means to be Christians living in community.”
Here’s Paul’s simple instructions for you and me:
• Show appreciation to those who give themselves sacrificially to lead the church.
• Get along with each other – do your part.
• Challenge lazy people to get a move on.
• Gently encourage those who are timid or fearful.
• Reach out to the weary and exhausted.
• Be patient with each person, and treat each one as an individual.
• Don’t get mad or get even when you’re wronged. Forgive. Do good to all.
• Look for the best in everyone and find ways to let people be their best.
• Choose joy over complaining.
• Pray about everything.
• Always find something to be thankful about.
This is God’s Will! This is the way to live!
Father, I have a long way to go on some of these things. I do better on others. What I want is to live the way you want me to live in community with others. May I use my example, influence, and words to help create a community of Christ-followers who live heaven’s way on earth! Amen.