From Pastor Perry

1 Thessalonians 5:12–22 (ESV)
Final Instructions and Benediction
12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

This is a ackward paragraph to write about, since I’m the pastor of a church.  But... we need to respect those who are called into office and are serving over you.  I must admit... as most pastors will also note... that pastors are not held in the same esteem as they once were.  There are many reasons for this as times have changed.  People are more apt to question authority today and I think that some of this is healthy.  If you take it from the Bereans, they went home and verified what was taught them against what the Bible teaches.  This is healthy and good.  What is not healthy is when they do not respect the office of the ministry.  I do think there has been a lot of abuse by pastors and laity.  I know a lot of pastors that may respond to a challenge in an unhealthy way of “how dare you question me!”  The moment a pastor takes this attitude for defense, he has lost.  Respect goes both ways.  Listen to what Paul states and this applies to pastors and laity: “Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.”

I pray: O Lord, help me to abstain from evil, and to build up one another instead of tearing them down.  Help me to admonish people in love and to be patient.  Lord, help us all, to serve you and others around us with respect.  Amen.

1 Thessalonians 5:1–11 (ESV)
The Day of the Lord
5 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Paul is telling us that we do not have a clue when Christ is returning, and we should not worry about it.  We should simply live as Christians every day doing what God wants us to do.  We wait for that day, but we live each day for the Lord as it comes.  Now it seems like Paul is telling us to not “sleep.”  The sleep here is not referring to actual sleep at night, nor death, but a life of sin.  We are not to live in the darkness of sin, but in the light of Christ. We are to live for Christ 24 hours a day, 7 days a week... whether we are in bed sleeping or working during the day.

I pray: O Lord, help me to live each day for the Lord, and to not dwell on when he will return.  If I am living each day for the Lord, then I will be ready for when Jesus returns.  Help me to encourage one another and build one another up.  Amen.

1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 (ESV)
The Coming of the Lord
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

As a Christian, we should have no fear of death.  If you do fear death, it is often a faith issue.  Notice I said often, not always.  I’m not afraid of death.  But I really don’t want to burn to death, or suffer a lot before death.  However, I’m not afraid of death.  Faith in God’s Word tells us that there is a heaven and those who believe in Jesus will have eternal life (John 3:16).  We know what is going to happen when our time comes.  We will go to heaven!  We will live eternally in the presence of God.  There will be no sin in the world.  These are not “I hope so” ideas, but they are God’s promises to us.  We could be scared if we don’t really believe in heaven, or if we doubt God’s promises.  This is what makes the resurrection so great!  It puts a “punch” behind God’s promises in that he raised Jesus from the dead and we too share in this victory.  Jesus resurrection is the proof in the pudding.  Jesus didn’t have to say “I told you so!”   He should the disciples his hands and his feet.  There was no doubt.  Even doubting Thomas believed when he saw the resurrected Lord!

I pray: O Lord, I trust in your Word that I have been set free from death.  I realize that I probably will die unless you return before my last day.   I would love that!  But I’m not afraid of death because I know that I will be living in your presence.  I look forward to that day.  Help me Lord to stay focused until that day comes.  Amen.

1 Thessalonians 4:9–12 (ESV)
A Life Pleasing to God (Part 2)
9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

As a pastor, it hurts me to see brotherly love abused in Christians.  I often hear people talking negatively about other people in the church or neighbors... sometimes even their own family members.  On the other hand, the Thessalonians had brotherly love for one another.   Let me ask you some probing questions.  Do you ever talk negatively about other fellow Christians?  Are there members in your church that can make your blood boil?  Is there someone who can get under your fingernails, or perhaps... is there anyone you like to irritate?  I must admit that when I look into the mirror at myself, I realize that maybe I have some rough edges that I need to work on and smooth out.  Is Paul speaking about you when he says “Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another.”   Well... I must say... I am a work in progress.  This means that the Holy Spirit will keep on working on me and shaping me according to God’s will.

I pray: O Lord, I look into the mirror and realize I fall short.  I repent and want to do better.  Let the Holy Spirit work on me and continue to shape me.  Help me to love others as you have taught me too.  Amen.

1 Thessalonians 4:1–8 (ESV)
A Life Pleasing to God
4 Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Many people will say they are Christian, yet live a life that is opposite.  Christ warns us about this, and so does Paul.  We are saved by faith, but the scriptures continuously tells us that we need to walk according to God’s will.  Now don’t get me wrong, we are not saved by our walk, but it does show our faith.  Faith without works is dead.  If we continue to walk in darkness, then we are not of Christ.  You cannot knock what the Bible is saying in this passage. “3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.”

I pray: O Lord, help us Lord to confess with our mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and to not disregard our daily walk.  Help us to repent and to walk according to the ways of the Lord.  Amen.

Latest comments

05.03 | 22:15

Pastor. since I did not get to attend church today, I read your blog and found it
to be so informative for Ash Wednesday. Thanks for your comments.

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25.12 | 07:53

Amen+

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28.11 | 13:00

Happy Thanksgiving

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03.11 | 01:46

A-Men!!!

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