WEDNESDAY, MAY 13
SCRIPTURE: 1 THESSALONIANS 5
Author: Jeremy Witt
Every Christ-follower and even some seekers were asking one big question. When will Jesus return? The skeptics would ask this to Christians and no one had a good answer. This rings true still today. No one knows but the LORD God Himself. In fact, every generation since Jesus ascended into heaven has thought that he would return in their lifetime. I think that Jesus might return in my lifetime. We are told here and numerous other places throughout the New Testament that Jesus will return and be watchful, waiting, and prepared. When we come to a time that the world thinks that we are at peace and everything is good, we should be on high alert for Jesus’ appearing; however, we are nowhere near peace based upon today’s circumstances.
But let me follow chapter 5’s message and bring you some encouragement. This is what rings so loudly in this chapter to me. Let’s make a list of things that our chapter tells us to do for one another as well as for ourselves.
- Verse 5 we are called children of light. Paul speaks about this in Ephesians 4 as well. Ephesians 5 speaks about living in the light.
- Verse 6 be on our guard, be alert, be sober-minded.
- Verse 8 we are reminded of our spiritual armor that protects us. This reminds us that God has provided us the protection that the world may not or will not see. Even in times of difficulty, suffering, persecution, God is providing for us. Ephesians 6:10-17 speaks of our spiritual armor.
- Verses 9-10 speaks of the Gospel and our LORD’s sacrifice so that we might be saved.
- 11 tells us to encourage one another and build each other up
- 12 speaks of honoring your spiritual leaders/mentors/disciple-makers
- 13 says to show respect and love to these leaders.
- 14 speaks of protecting those who are “lazy” and timid by encouraging them and being patient towards them.
- 15 speaks of not paying back evil with more evil
- 16 always be joyful.
- 17 pray and don’t stop praying
- 18 be thankful in all circumstances
- 19 don’t quench or stifle the Holy Spirit
- 20 don’t scoff or despise prophecies
- 21 but do examine/search out the truth/question them according to God’s Word
- 22 stay away from all sorts of evil or every form of evil
Paul then goes to his final words which are encouraging by reminding us that God is faithful and that He will watch over us. He tells us to look out and encourage one another yet again and to share this letter with others.
Why is it so necessary for us to do these things? We can go with the obvious answer because we are told so by God’s Word. We could say because it is the right thing to do. We could say because Jesus did, so should we, and all these are right answers. The thing that this chapter does is meant to encourage and guide us to right and Godly living. How I would answer is because I am going to need to be reminded, and if you all do not do this, then I will fall flat on my face. I will miss the mark and not help you by reminding you in times of need. It isn’t the holiest answer, but the practical answer I see as to why we need to do these things is that we will all need help, encouragement, and reminding. When we work together as God intended us to do, we accomplish far more together than we could ever do alone. We are not meant to be on an island, but to be connected to the body of Christ or His Church. I need you. The Church is better when we are together, united, and staying on course together.
May we grow to become this together for the glory and praise of our great God and Savior!