You know you should pay attention when the heading of a Bible passage says: Christian Conduct. Many years ago I read a book by Francis Schaeffer called, “How Should We Then Live” and that title comes to mind as I consider this passage from 1 Thessalonians today.
But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. -1 Thessalonians 5:13-24
Well, that should certainly keep my busy and out of trouble. So just to recap and make sure I get it my to-do list includes:
-Appreciate those who shepherd me in the church and esteem them very highly in love.
-Live in peace with others.
-Counsel the unruly, patiently.
-Encourage the fainthearted, patiently.
-Help the weak, patiently.
-Be patient with everyone. (thus the tag “patiently” placed on the items above)
-Do not repay evil with evil, and see that no one else does either (I am my brother’s keeper?)
-Always seek after what is good for myself and others. (I am my brother’s keeper!)
-Always seek after what is good for all people.
-Pray without ceasing.
-Give thanks in everything, the good the bad and the ugly, for it is God’s will for my life.
-Do not suppress the Spirit.
-Do not despise prophetic words.
-Examine everything carefully.
-Hold fast to what is good.
-Quit every form of evil.
Wow! I am so glad that the next few verses were added on as this list can just seem so overwhelming…it is God who is sanctifying me-cleansing me, purifying me, blessing me. It is God who is preserving me, completing me. It is God who makes me blameless before Him. It is God who is always faithful and He will bring all of this to pass in my life. I stand amazed and encouraged! For apart from Him none of this is possible, apart from Him I will never succeed. And so I continue to learn what it means to be a follower of Christ, to be a servant of my Lord and Savior. He has given me a desire to be like Him and the power to do that just that. Everyday is a brand new day to “pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again.” (I am a fan of old movies…)