In this section of his letter to the Thessalonians, the apostle Paul addresses leadership within the church, and the responsibilities of the sheep within each shepherd’s flock. These commands remain invaluable teaching to this day.
“12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13)
Paul lists three responsibilities bestowed upon church leaders by which each one will be held accountable for by God Himself. First he mentions labor, the daily toiling church leaders experience as they study and teach the gospel to seekers of Christ.
Atop laboring, church leaders are called to rule over their congregation and do so biblically. Shepherds are also commanded to admonish or “lovingly caution” church members so to ensure peaceful spiritual growth within the body.
Church members on the other hand are called to love and respect church leaders for their sacrifice, devotion and the accountability they face in the eyes of the Lord who rules them.
“14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14)
Paul then encourages believers to fulfill their role within the church by warning those who cause division with the church. He also calls on church members to be comforting to those in need, look out for the weak and exude patience in a Christ like manner.
‘15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.” (1 Thessalonians 5:15)
Paul warns against vengeance instead calling on believers to seek righteousness and rewards promised to those who glorify God with their lives, through their works.
“16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Through the holy Spirit that dwells within us, believers are blessed to rejoice even among life threatening challenges. Christians are called to pray constantly for those who do not pray will not receive. We are also commanded by God to give Him thanks in everything, not for everything. While the difference may seem subtle, gratitude is meant for God and His will, certainly not for pain, suffering or torture.
“19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22)
Paul calls on believers to allow the holy Spirit to do its work through us. We are to avoid suffocating the Spirit instead trust its divine fire that burns within all believers. We are to embrace prophecy and the messengers anointed by this precious gift. Christians should weigh advice against the truth found in God’s perfect word, the bible to be used to battle temptation as we strive to steer clear from evil. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre