Bible text: 1 Thessalonians 5;12-28
Brother Paul has come to the end of his letter to the Thessalonian brethren. He had established them in faith and had gone on to check on their progress as their young faith was under fierce attack from their country men. Having ascertained their state of well being in the faith, he made certain corrections and debunked wrong teachings and notions. This morning, he brings his admonitions to a close by pointing out certain spiritual disciplines necessary for their continued sanctification and growth.
From verse 12-15 he gives a guideline concerning the relationship between a pastor or the pastoral council and the members. Believers are not to belittle the men of God who rule over the congregation, especially, those who rule well in their capacity as pastors. Their sincerity is evident in the way they:
1. Labour among the flock even to the point of exhaustion, in order to bring them forth and make them become everything the lord will have them be.
2. Are over the flock in the lord, teaching the right principles of God’s word diligently, keeping with their calling as serious partners in God’ kingdom business.
3. Admonish the people of God in sincerity without fear or favour. Teaching, correcting, rebuking and reproving with the right doctrine. Equipping men.
More so, believers, (from verse 14) In as much as they live in love, upholding the weak and fainthearted, must ensure that a stubborn or a quarrelsome person is cautioned lest they fill the house of God with conflict. Having done this, they should move progressively to sanctification by rejoicing always, praying always and giving thanks continually. Praying always entails being intentional about our prayer life and making it a regular part of our everyday life. Joy is a gift of the holy spirit. It is being of a cheerful disposition even when there is no external reason for it. Giving thanks is a command, in good times and in bad, because we’ve entrusted our lives to God and believe that he will do the best for us no matter what.
Read also: Let us be Alert!!
Finally, we are not to despise prophetic utterances, (verse 19-20). Even though many false prophets keep rising on a daily basis, there are still men through whom God reveals his mind. However, the bible contains the complete revelation of God’s word as he wants man to have it for now. Any prophecy that negates the teaching of the bible definitely does not pass the test of the spirit. Abstaining from evil is the hallmark of our salvation…as a good stream cannot produce bitter and sweet water at the same time. Paul’s prayer of sanctification over the Thessalonians shows us what God wants over every of his children and verse 24 crowns it all: “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it”. That’s an awesome assurance! It is God who works all in all. Its not of him who runs or wills, but of God who shows mercy. And I pray with Paul, even as we usher in the new month; “May his mercy speak over us as we continue on this journey of faith and may he sanctify us wholly and give us peace through the spirit of Christ our living saviour, Amen!