Wednesday, May 8, 2013
"Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:14-22 NKJV
- Be patient
- Be watchful to prevent evil
- Pursue personal and corporate divine good
- Rejoice all the time
- Pray continuously
- Give thanks for everything (this and everything listed before it is God's will)
- Don't quench, or put out the light, of God's Spirit. You are a child of the day as is says in verse 5
- Don't hate or ignore preaching (the method that light comes to you)
- Test knowledge (Is it God's truth? Does it match other scripture? Does it reflect God's character and method as it is presented in Christ?
- Once a thing is tested keep firm possession of what is excellent
- Refrain from the shape of infectious evil
All a list of exhortations. The scripture pointing us to a better way. Urging us to function on an upper highway. How?
We must 'be' before any exhortation can take hold. The verses that come after the exhortations are what make them possible. The picture is not complete without what comes next. The cake won't rise without these last ingredients...
"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it." 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NKJV
Believing is our true and only work. We labor to rest because God:
- Sanctifies us completely
- Preserves us until He comes for us
- Calls us
- Is faithful
- Does all the work
Amazing! All exhortation is done with the finished work of Christ as the framework. Once we are resting in what Christ has done our mind becomes the mind of a minister, a protector and an intercessor. We can have joy when we are still unhappy. We can be thankful when we still don't understand.
Once deaf our ears are open a searching for the certain sound of grace and truth. Everything else is discarded.
Made Holy ones and preserved completely we find ourselves moving in the direction of the one who is calling us. We warn people and uphold people as we go saying. 'The Master is this way. He is faithful. The work is finished.'