Saturday, February 25, 2012
"And we urge you, brethren, to
recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake.
Be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren,
warn those who are unruly,
comfort the fainthearted,
uphold the weak,
be patient with all.
See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
pray without ceasing,
in everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:12-18
There are many places in God's Word that explicitly tell us what His will is ~ what we should and should not believe, do, trust in, hope for, feel, etc. Yesterday as I was reading 1 and 2 Thessalonians, this short passage jumped out at me. I returned to it again this morning, thanking the Lord that it is because of Christ's perfection and His sacrifice that I am redeemed and not by my own works, because this list alone would condemn me.
Sometimes I highly esteem those who are over me in the Lord; sometimes I am critical.
Sometimes I am at peace with others; sometimes I plainly am not.
Warn the unruly? again, sometimes.
By His grace, I comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak and am patient with some sometimes. I rejoice, but always? I pray, but without ceasing? I give thanks, but in everything?
But THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD in Christ Jesus for me (and for you). I sat here this morning thinking that if this were a test and the teacher grading me was just, I'd be sunk. BUT, God is just AND merciful, and He is mighty to save. Just a few verses later in chapter five (vs 23-34), the apostle Paul wrote: "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it." THAT, my friends, is where my hope lies...in God Himself who is faithful and who will complete the good work He has begun. In God who is "just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus" (Romans 3:26b).
Thankfully this is not a test. But it is can be thought of as goal. So today as we make up our list of goals, let's make sure our goals match up with those of our Father.