1 Thessalonians 5 (NLT)
Some things from 1 Thessalonians 5...
v 9-10: "For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever."
I'm so thankful for God's continual mercy on me. He is not angry with me, He only wants me to be saved through Him and to have a loving, genuine relationship with Him. I am hopeful and cannot wait to spend an eternity with Him!
v. 24: "God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful."
How wonderful to know that I serve a God who is faithful to His Word and He will do as He promises! No one else in this world can always be faithful and uphold promises made... I should trust in the Lord above all else!
v. 25: "Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us."
Again, here is another call for prayer. One thing that hit me when I read this is that everyone needs prayer, even those people who seem to have it all together. Paul (one of the biggest writers in the New Testament!) recognized his need for prayer and asked the Thessalonians to remember him in their prayers.
Back to verse 11: "So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing."
I've noticed that encouraging others is a reoccurring theme in 1 Thessalonians. Here is a list (taken, in part, from a chart in my bible) of practical ways to encourage others (from verses 11-18)...
The format is:
Bible verse - Way of encouraging - Suggested application
- v. 11 - Build each other up - Point out to someone a quality you appreciate in him or her.
- v. 12 - Honor leaders - Look for ways to cooperate.
- v. 13 - Show leaders great respect - Hold back your next critical comments about those in positions of responsibility. Say "thank you" to your leaders for their efforts.
- v. 13 - Live in peace - Search for ways to get along with others.
- v. 14 - Warn the lazy - Challenge someone to join you in a project.
- v. 14 - Encourage the timid - Encourage those who are timid by reminding them of God's promises.
- v. 14 - Help the weak - Support those who are weak by loving them and praying for them.
- v. 14 - Be patient - Think of a situation that tries your patience, and plan ahead of time how you can stay calm.
- v. 15 - Resist revenge - Instead of planning to get even with those who mistreat you, do good to them.
- v. 16 - Be joyful - Remember that even in the midst of turmoil, God is in control.
- v. 17 - Pray continually - God is always with you-talk to him.
- v. 18 - Give thanks - Make a list of all the gifts God has given you, giving thanks to God for each one.
Verses 16-18 are some of my favorites within the whole bible. Be joyful always. Pray continually. Give thanks in all circumstances. Definitely easier said than done, but these are some things I really want to work towards in my life.