Sunday, January 13, 2019

Final Instructions

1 Thess. 5:12-22 = last instructions to the Thessalonians.  Brief, simple, short, without much commentary.

16 different ones (by our count)  - last week did 8.

1)  Respect your leaders
2)  Live in Peace
3)  Warn the Idle
4)  Encourage the Timid
5)  Help the Weak - (morally, ethically weak)
6)  Be patient with everyone
7)  Don't Retaliate
8)  Be Kind

Simple stuff to understand, but may be difficult to enact.
When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus' answer was:  "love the Lord, your God with all your heart...., and love your neighbor as yourself.....  On these two hang all the law and the prophets."
All the above listed are "neighbor" related.  Are Basic to Christian behavior.  (identity, witness)  - the way we are called to treat people.
All are in your power to perform.

Now the other 8............

1)  Rejoice Always
2)  Pray Continually
3)  Give Thanks in Everything
4)  Don't Quench the Spirit
5)  Don't Despise God's Word(s)
6)  Test Spiritual Claims
7)  Hold tot eh Good
8)  Avoid all the Evil

- These - still easy to understand, But might require some definition.
- These are more "God-Related" (see quote from Jesus above)
- Still expected Christian behavior
- Still within your power/ability to perform...

Today = 3 of the 8
Begin with #3 because = (1) familiar  (2)  sets pattern

#1.  In everything Give Thanks  
       (A)  Contrast = "in all" with "for all" - Rom. 8:28 - God works in all things,  not necessarily the way we want Him to.
       (B)  Contrast the Act (give thanks) and the Attitude (be thankful) - 50:1
      (C)  note:  This = a spiritual discipline  (may take effort)
      (D)  may be a Christian sacrifice (costly)

#2.  Rejoice Always   joy = gladness (delight0
                         to Rejoice = to express gladness   Luke 10:20   Rev. 19:7
Like thanksgiving,  (A)  contrast the Act and Attitude
  ("be joyful" = 2 times in New Testament.  Rejoice = many times!_
Therefore,             (B)  a Christian discipline - not always easy to do.
                             (C)  a Christian Sacrifice - Heb. 13:15

This does NOT mean "be happy" all the time.  It Does = express your joy amidst your sorrow.
Matt. 5:11-12   2 Cor. 6:3-10 - when doing good, serving Christ, living for Christ

Question:  If can't conjure up gladness??
Answer:  Do what you know is right! = discipline!
                                                        = sacrifice!

#3.  Pray without Ceasing   (continually)
Obviously doesn't mean never off knees, doesn't mean do nothing else.
On one hand = state of presence, communication - (example:  group in a car - don't have to talk constantly to see that the way to communication is there and open)
On the other hand, this is more than an Attitude of Prayer!  It = the ACT of prayer (communication)

Prayer = (1)  making request(s)
also =     (2)  Praise  (To Him)
and =     (3)  Expressing thoughts/feelings (plus and minus) offered as
              (4)  an Option to Worry - Phil. 4:6-7

Prayer = 2 way communication
Question:  what if don't sense .. His Presence, His Response?
Answer:  Pray anyway!!! - Col. 4:2,  Eph. 6:18

Note:  words of our model/teacher - John 11:41-42
Note:  words of great pray-er:  James 5:16

This = God's Desire ... for your good, for your witness, therefore, for His promotion.

These =  (1)  easy to understand
              (2)  difficult to do
 BUT     (3)  within your power!!!

Closing Scripture:  2 Pet. 1:10-12

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