1 Thessalonians 5: 12 – 28 Final instructions
Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all: hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
Brothers and sisters, pray for us. Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss. I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
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This is Paul’s ‘wish list’ for the Thessalonians. It is the earliest teaching we have as to how the early church should live, dating from about 50 AD.
What an encouraging list it is!
Let me pick out a particularly helpful sentence: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
How often should we rejoice? Always!
How often should we pray? Continually!
Under what circumstances should we give thanks? Under all circumstances!
Look at the end of the sentence: “for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” These aren’t demands, they are promises.
We will rejoice as we accept our new life from God.
We will pray because we want to listen to our heavenly Father who loves us.
We will give thanks because God is moulding us into the people he wants us to become.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Thank you that you wish to sanctify each of us through and through.
Thank you that you will keep us blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.