1 Thessalonians 5:12-18
Last time Paul explained that the start of the day of the Lord, would come as a thief in the night. He urged the believers to be alert and sober. To be sober was to not be caught up in the things of this world. To be morally stable. He then asked them to encourage each other in the fact that Jesus would not let them suffer the wrath of God, because of the salvation they have in Jesus.
Do you know God’s will?
12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;
13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men have a peek at this web-site.
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Paul begins by urging the church at Thessalonica to recognize those leaders among them. These leaders are characterized in three ways:
- They labor with the congregation. They don’t just preach and teach, but they serve alongside the brothers and sisters. I would be concerned about a leader who didn’t serve.
- They lead. Many times people in authority in the church don’t actually lead people. A good leader brings people along in the right direction. Being a leader isn’t in title alone.
- They admonish people. This is to reprove or warn gently but firmly. In other words speak the truth in love. Too many church leaders don’t know how to tell people the truth. They don’t want to offend people for fear of hurting their feelings so they hide the truth or don’t tell them what they really need to know. Some tell people the truth but don’t do it in the right spirit. Leaders shoul speak with love and in truth.
The congregation is supposed to recognize those in authority over them and put them in high esteem and to love them. Why? Because of their labor. We aren’t to support a pastor or teacher that doesn’t know how to work. But when our pastors, teachers and leaders in the church work alongside of us, we should highly esteem them and love them.
Paul then promotes the idea that we should be at peace with one another. This is so very important. Churches split because of petty differences. If church members would remember who they are in Christ, that is brothers and sisters, and that we are supposed to promote peace, then others would soon see that Christians are different. The world is full of hate, people who walk into a church for the first time should recognize the peace and love it has amongst its members.
Paul then exhorts them to do several things.
- Warn the unruly
- Comfort the feeble minded
- Support the weak
- Be patient towards all men
- Don’t render evil for evil
- Follow what is good
- Rejoice evermore
- Pray without ceasing
- Give thanks always
This is some list. Some people wonder what they can do in the church to serve. Well, this is a good list of things to start with. Imagine if every Christian focused on this list. What would your church look like? Would your church be attractive to a hurting world if all the members were doing these things?
Some of these things are very hard to do. Being patient is hard. It is easy to love some people, but loving the unruly or those that hurt you is very difficult.
One thing on this list is easy. We should pray without ceasing. Start praying for yourself, your brothers and sisters in Christ and your church leadership. Pray that you will strive towards doing everything on this list and then do it.
The above list is the will of God. God’s will is very clear. Stop asking what his will is for your life and just read the list.
The church at Thessalonica is a model church. One of the big reasons is because of this list.