The thoughts in parenthesis are the thoughts the Lord gave me/asked me as I read through this scripture this morning...the thoughts that came to mind as I struggle through this life! I thought I would share them with you!
Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. (Have you prayed for your pastor and your church leaders today? They need our prayers! They need our respect!)
Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
(Have you encouraged your pastor lately? If we remain silent, they will never know the encouragement that we were thinking. So often, the correspondence they receive is discouraging or critical. Take time today to thank your church leaders and to tell them they are doing a good job! They need encouragement!)
And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. (God does not give us discernment to be critical or judgmental of others but he gives it to us so we will intercede for them. Intercede this morning for a weaker brother in Christ with thanksgiving and joyfulness. Ask the Lord to help you be watchful today so that you can encourage the discouraged and speak the truth in love to someone who is needing it)
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. (When someone hurts you, what is your first response? Is it to get back at them? Christ calls us to be kind. No. matter. what. It's easy to be kind and love those who are easy to love. What about the ones who are mean? What about the ones who disappoint you? Christ calls us to love. No. matter. what. If you are only surrounding yourselves with those who are easy to have relationships with than you are missing out on so, so much!)
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (Ask the Lord to help you do this throughout the day! Make a conscious effort to offer up little prayers throughout the day, especially those of thanksgiving!)
Do not put out the Spirit's fire;
do not treat prophecies with contempt. (maybe there are some who believe what the Bible says about Bible prophecies a little differently than you do. What makes you so sure you are right and they are wrong? Ask God for humility as you study the scripture and whatever you do, don't treat His Word with contempt! I cringe when I hear people making fun of others who take unfulfilled Bible prophecy literally...don't make fun, instead, do what the next verse says and 'test everything...'
Test everything. Hold on to the good.
Avoid every kind of evil. (Ask the Lord to help you to avoid it yet at the same time be 'in this world' as we are called to live here and exclaim the Gospel to others who don't know Him! Don't become a recluse, a Separatist....what good is that?)
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Pray for sanctification through and through! He answers Yes to this prayer every single time!)
The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. (Amen, Amen and Amen! HE IS SO FAITHFUL!!!!!!!)
1 Thess. 5:12-24