This week we will be looking at Paul’s letter to the church at Thessalonica. Chapter 5 and verses 11-28 was to counsel and comfort the church. Paul’s purpose in writing these verses was to encourage the Thessalonians to live holy lives. Paul now counsels the Thessalonians to do seven things that will strengthen their walk with God, the church, and their relationship with others.
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.
19 Quench not the Spirit.
20 Despise not prophesyings.
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Paul knew that if the church at Thessalonica could do these things there would be less church infighting, better interpersonal relationships, and harmony.
Their focus would be upward to God. All of these actions are centered toward God. They would rejoice in their relationship with God. They would be praying to God. Their worship and giving of thanks would be to God. They would be sensitive to the movement of the Holy Spirit in their lives. They would listen to the Scriptures. They would make sure the things taught to them corresponded to God’s word. They would not do anything that appeared to be wrong.
This is what the 21st century church needs to do. If we focused more on God than the things of this world, the church would be stronger and more vital part of our communities.
We will sum up this passage tomorrow.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001