1) Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8
Since we know by faith that Christ will certainly come, we will not be surprised by the way that he comes (as a thief in the night). However, we might be surprised when he comes.
Paul is encouraging us to stay alert for Jesus return. Saying that we need to be ready 24/7. How can we stay alert and watchful for Christ's return all of the time?
Verse 8 gives us a good start. In part, we can stay ready by putting on the armor of faith, hope, and love. How can putting on the armor of faith, hope, and love strenghten us until the Last Day?
How does the armor of God protect us?
2) Read 1 Thessalonians 5:9-15
"Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you.13Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other."
I posted sometime ago on the topic of Pastors. We learned how Pastors serve their congregations. How can a congregation serve and respect its pastor?
That brothers and sisters in Christ would live in unity was always one of Paul's biggest hopes for the church. How does living in peace with those who have been called as pastors help the church live in peace?
3) Read 1 Thessalonians 5:28
Compare this with 1 Thessalonians 1:1.
Paul uses almost the same words to open his letter. This is because Paul wanted his reader to see grace from end to end. The grace of Jesus Christ should pour out from all of our words. Whether we are instructing, critiquing, encouraging, or just chit chatting with our neighbors. This grace should be behind everything we say.
Does the grace of God pour out from your lips in your everyday conversations?