I have been doing the 365 study with She Reads Truth this year, consistently. It’s mid-late March and I am still powering through it although we just hit Numbers so I am hoping that doesn’t stop me. In the NT we read 1 Thessalonians this week and honestly, I think chapter 5 maybe one of my favorite chapters in the entire Bible.
First Paul, encourages us to be stronger than the disciples with, “So, then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.” (5:6) I don’t think he is advocating for not drinking but to be aware, listen to the Spirit as it speaks through our church leaders, through the Word, and through our fellow brothers and sisters. They way Christ asked the disciples to stay awake in the garden when He went to pray, “Sit here while I go over there and pray…remain here and watch (keep awake) with me” (Matthew 26:36 and 38) “The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41)
Then he tells us to “…put on the breastplate of faith and love and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath but to obtain salvation…whether awake or asleep we might live with Him” (5:8-10) Wow. Put on love and faith, choose faith and love and hope each morning. Because He did not destine us for wrath but for salvation. Seriously, whether we are aware or not He has destined great things for us within His kingdom.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (5:11)
He goes on to say, “And we (Paul, Silvanus and Timothy) urge you, sisters, rebuke the lazy, encourage the faint of heart, help the weak, be patient with them all.”(5:14) Y’all, I love this verse, it tells us as Christians we are urged, encouraged and supposed to help the weak (physically, mentally, and tempted), encourage on another in our own struggles and to be patient with one another. Be patient.
Another personal favorite verse (or 3) is, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God…” (5:16-18) This is like a to do list I have each day. Did I rejoice today, even if it was over getting that ideal work space at Starbucks? Did I pray without ceasing for my friends, for my friends adoption, and for my husband’s safe travel? Did I give thanks when that guy pulled out in front of me or when I was 10 minutes late to that meeting? Did I…
Paul closes the letter by telling the Thessalonians to ‘test everything; hold fast to what is good’ (5:21) and ‘may the God of peace sanctify you completely…’ (5:23) and that ‘He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.’ (5:24)
What encourages you? Is it the sunrise? Or is there a chapter or verse in the Bible that re-energizes you?
emphasis is my own and the text comes from the ESV