Thursday, October 25, 2018
Paul is trying to be encouraging in that he says those who have afflicted the church will be judged. There was a time when I thought that was just great. Not so much any more. I accept that each will receive according to their choices and deeds. But I find no joy in the destruction of anyone, even the pagans who reject Christ. I also have a bit of an issue with Paul saying to be worthy. As far as I can tell, all that's needed to be worthy is to believe and accept Christ. If there's something more then I'm afraid I won't make it. Doubt anyone else will either. It is an encouragement knowing that I have an eternity with God. Not that His enemies will be destroyed.
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Paul writes about the coming day of the lord as if he expected it at any day. I believe that every generation has felt the same way to an extent. Even today believers look at the signs of the times as if the end is coming but there doesn't seem to be any sense of urgency. Jesus is coming soon but not today. I wonder why we have this attitude. Are we too satisfied with our current life? Do we not fully believe that paradise awaits? Maybe we're worried to be branded a nut job for proclaiming the end is coming. The end is coming, I just don't feel like it'll happen today, maybe I should.
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Just how does one do that? Again we have an area where someone could very easily fall back into legalism. In order to please God I have to do certain things and not do other things. When one develops this attitude the focus goes away from living to worrying about how. If the gospel is true, and I believe that it is. Then the Holy Spirit is in us to give directions. Don't worry so much about the whats, just live life looking not for glory but for joy. And if something isn't quite right trust that God will let you know. If the only way to please my father is by doing stuff then the relationship is not based on love. God loves me, I do not need to perform to please Him. All I need to to is want to please Him, He can fix the rest.
Monday, October 22, 2018
We don't know all of the specifics but we do know quite a bit. Paul was an outcast from his Jewish brothers, in fact many of them wanted to kill him. He made enemies in nearly every city he visited. Was stoned and beaten. Wandered homeless for nearly all of his ministry. His life certainly wasn't easy. It would be simple to look at his life and say; If he's really living for God, then why is his life so miserable? Isn't that part of the message being preached today? Live for God and have prosperity and health. But it's not true. Living for God is hard. Paul was encouraged in that the church was still standing steadfast in spite of Paul's troubles, not believing those lies. Which brings up a point, it's easy to sing praises and shout for joy when life is going well, but when life really sucks, and trust me sometimes even for the saccharine sweet Christian life sometimes really sucks, to remain steadfast is more testimony of the truth in the gospel. Paul was encouraged because the church he helped start was still faithful, as he was faithful. Do you know someone whose life really sucks today? Are they still faithful? Then do this to be an encouragement, call and tell them. Don't quote scripture, or some cliche. Say something like there's nothing I can do to help, but I'm thinking of you and you are an inspiration.
Friday, October 19, 2018
Think about the people in your life that garner the most respect. I'd wager that they are some of the most humble and giving people that you know. I think there's a principle here. The selfless or giving life is more fulfilling and more rewarding than the selfish life. Paul certainly was selfless. He was also pretty much singularly focused on preaching the gospel. When he was in Thessalonica he labored daily at his trade so he would not be a burden to the church there. Next time you see one of those who you respect for these reasons, just say thanks.
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Paul commends the church at Thessalonica for being an example. Here is something that I think one should strive for. Being an example to others while living the Christian life. And I mean a real example, not some phony who is always giving praise or making claims that life is simply great. But real and grounded that no matter what comes they are still rooted in Christ. I've said many times the more powerful witness is the person who stands by their faith in the worst of times. That's the example I want to be.
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Paul says it a little different, let your speech be gracious, seasoned with a little salt. Salt is an interesting thing, it can add flavor, can be an abrasive, can be a cleanser, and too much can be a bad thing. Our speech marks us for ever, the words echo through time and we ought to choose them well. It's still possible to disagree or to offer criticism and correction but in the right way.