1 Thessalonians 5:12-22
12 Brothers and sisters, we ask you to accept the godly leaders who work hard among you. They care for you in the Lord. They correct you. 13 Have a lot of respect for them. Love them because of what they do. Live in peace with one another. 14 Brothers and sisters, we are asking you to warn certain people. These people don’t want to work. Instead, they make trouble. We are also asking you to encourage those who have lost hope. Help those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that no one pays back one wrong act with another. Instead, always try to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank him because you believe in Christ Jesus. 19 Don’t try to stop what the Holy Spirit is doing. 20 Don’t treat prophecies as if they weren’t important. 21 But test all prophecies. Hold on to what is good. 22 Say no to every kind of evil.
“Now we ask you…” (v12)
“And we urge you…” (v14)
“Make sure that…” (v15)
Paul finishes his letter to the Thessalonians with an increased sense of pace and urgency. We hear his voice carrying across the centuries with the same amount of affection and concern as the first time it reached the Thessalonians. We are connected to Paul by the Holy Spirit. He is like a spiritual uncle to us. Like a brother. What advice is he giving to you today? What spiritual encouragement?
v12 acknowledge the hard workers around you
v13 keep the peace in the church community
v14 help the weak, increase your patience
v15 don’t take revenge, seek the best for all people
v16 Rejoice more
v17 Pray more
v18 practise more thankfulness
v19 be open to the Spirit
v20 listen carefully to prophecy, keep the good, reject the bad
v22 keep away from evil.
Paul’s enthusiasm for us is obvious. Take it all on board.
Thank you for commissioning Paul as one of the greatest encouragers and examples for us. Use his words to stoke my passion for you, awaken me daily with the reality of your approach to life in the world. Amen.
Written by Sam Stewart