“Faithful and absolutely trustworthy is He who is calling you [to Himself for your salvation], and He will do it [He will fulfill His call by making you holy, guarding you, watching over you, and protecting you as His own].” 1 Thess. 5:24 AMP
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.
If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is the Book of First Thessalonians chapter 5 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).
The Day of the Lord
5 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be [a]sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and [d]admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
14 Now we [e]exhort you, brethren, warn those who are [f]unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
Blessing and Admonition
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify[g] you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
25 Brethren, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:6 self-controlled
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Or encourage
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 build one another up
- 1 Thessalonians 5:12 instruct or warn
- 1 Thessalonians 5:14 encourage
- 1 Thessalonians 5:14 insubordinate or idle
- 1 Thessalonians 5:23 set you apart
- 1 Thessalonians 5:27 letter
- 1 Thessalonians 5:27 NU omits holy
MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:
Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
The final chapter of the first letter to the Thessalonians can be broken down into three sections: the day of the Lord, various instructions, and blessings.
THE DAY OF THE LORD
As I began saying on Friday and it is worth repeating – Everything the Bible says about the day of the Lord and end time prophesy is in there to prepare and not scare you. But the enemy preys on our natural fear of the unknown and there is a lot unknown about this day. That fear is a direct reflection of Evil’s fear of the fulfillment of these prophesies. But we are not of that kingdom and have no reason to worry. But… we are fragile humans.
“For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.” Verse 3
I was 24 years old, finished with college and living a ‘grown up life’ when my son was born. I mean I wasn’t uninformed, ignorant, or naive. I knew my due date, I knew it was almost time, I knew the signs and made it to the hospital, I knew. I had peace, I thought I was safe – it turned out to be complications. I was there for 3 days before I actually went into labor. It happens suddenly. Even though I was in the hospital hooked to machine monitoring and anticipating… nothing and no one knows when. The nurse brought me dinner and said that after dinner they were going to give me a sleeping pill, then the next day they would have to induce labor or do a C-section. I looked at my dinner and just wasn’t hungry. My grandmother was with me – she was a maternity nurse for 30+ years and a living legend at that hospital. So she talked softly, like always, and tried to gently explain what was happening. BUT! SUDDENLY! I said to her “I think the baby is here!” and sure enough he was crowning! She started to run out of the room to get the staff. But I stopped her and begged her to hold my legs together I was scared and not ready!!! Suddenly I was also taken by fear and wanted a big undo button!!! But like verse 3 said – I could not escape. She amazingly comforted me and got the staff and I had a beautiful healthy baby boy within the hour.
That. That is what Paul is talking about. That is how the wrath of God falls on the evil when they run out of grace. Even the demons and the enemy himself have a measure of grace – not to be saved, but to dwell here until it is time for them to be tossed into hell, which is being prepared for them (not for humans – although if humans follow evil to their damnation, that is their choice – but let me encourage you to choose God instead).
“But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.” Verses 4-5
See, he wants to prepare us – not scare us! We are of the light not of the darkness.
I suppose in our modern perspective and fear of this comes with limited Biblical knowledge. So let’s broaden this discussion.
Jesus was the first person in the Bible to declare that the End Times had indeed began. Therefore – we are well into the end times. And when you hear people argue that “people have been saying it for a long time – so it is not true” I always show them that Jesus said it. It is true. Their perspective of time is what is wrong. We are 2000 years into the end times.
Next Jesus also said he brought the ‘day of the Lord’. You know that great and mighty and feared day from the old prophets, yeah, that day. So we are 2000 years into ‘The Day’. We are living, occupying and dying in this great year of the Lord – is it as scary as the enemy had you believe? Take a deep breath of air and notice you are alive and able to leisure read blogs on the internet. (Not saying we don’t have real persecution and struggles – just saying compared to what I thought, it isn’t so bad. and it will get worse, but God has kept life going for a very long time, and He will continue.)
And as for the difference between darkness and light. Let’s use a reference to the book of Job. Job’s friends said to Job he must be suffering the punishment of God. But God’s wrath and punishment is ONLY for the evil, the dark, and the demons. We are children of the light. BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN WE WON’T SUFFER! You see we live in a world subject to the curse of sin. (Live here, but we are not of here because we should be kingdom minded!) Paul was no stranger to suffering. Job was no stranger to suffering. Before our lives are over, we too will suffer to some degree. I had suffered abuse as a child. I had suffered from rape. I had suffered from addiction. I had things placed upon me and things robbed from me by the enemy. As I came back to God, I suffered the loss of friend and being teased by them. I lost a lot. I have even lost social media privileges for posting scriptures and links to this blog – I am more careful now.
The point is to know the difference between God’s wrath and the sufferings of this world. We are of the light and will not suffer the wrath. That means we can always overcome. We can always overcome evil and death because we have eternal life. Remember we are not of this world, so the death of this world is inconsequential. But the wrath of God – no man and no beast and no demon or angel or anything can overcome God or His wrath. I repeat, being of the light, we will not be subjected to wrath only to the attacks of the enemy – of which we are already victorious.
“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” Verse 11
VARIOUS INSTRUCTIONS – THE TO-DO LIST
Now that we are comforted, focused back on the kingdom, bathed in the love the Father has for us… and we talked about the things we shouldn’t do with Paul telling us to work hard, be sexually pure, and view life and death as God does (not deceived about the resurrection, rapture and second coming of Jesus) – now let’s look at Paul’s list of various exhortations. (I have said it before and I will probably say it a million times – I love the way Paul exhorts. It’s a list of “do”, not a list of “don’t do”. There is only humility, love and correction and never criticism or cruelty or an attitude of being better than.)
List of “do”:
DO respect the church authority, for peace sake. (That is a hard one. He is hitting me where it hurts right out of the gate. God told me to come to this church – so here I stay until He says otherwise. But the first prayer meeting I attended, a deacon told me to settle down, there will be no “signs and wonders following” in this church. This is the very church I grew up in and taught me as a child that every word in the book is true. So many days I respect God’s command to respect, more than I respect man, himself. I admit – it is a struggle. I pray often for him and his family. I pray for signs and wonders to abundantly bless them!)
DO warn people who are out of order. (Yeah, do not let people side track or distract from the work of the Lord – warn them, lovingly, bringing them back on task. This is about people – not about demons, witches or the demonically possessed.)
DO comfort each other. (Don’t you love when you share your struggle and it gets dismissed?)
DO uphold the weak. (When we are weak, He is strong [2 Cor. 12:10] so upholding the weak is multiplying God’s strength – think about that! Yet often the spirit of criticism and condemnation win and strife broods in our modern church. When we think someone is consistently wrong – we should wrap them all the more in love and tenderness instead of harsh words without life.)
DO be patient with yourself, with God, and with each other.
DO “see that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.” Verse 15 (“See that” seems like maybe we have authority to control others. Be careful. Let church leadership know and let them handle it. And if you are leadership – walk in wisdom, scared of God and not man. Without breaking out all the ways this can go wrong and be incorrectly interpreted out of context, let’s just take note that there is a part B to this verse that literally give what to do instead of rendering evil for evil. The verse in context might be more clear if read as: don’t render evil and do what is good both for yourselves and for others. At least that is enough of a lesson on that for today.)
DO “16 Rejoice always,” (I pray the Lord baptizes you in joy!)
DO “17 pray without ceasing,”
DO give thanks for everything.
Then Paul tosses in a couple “Don’t”s and finishes with a “DO”:
DON’T “quench the Spirit.”
DON’T stop, prevent, inhibit, or despise prophecies.
DO “21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. [And]22 Abstain from every form of evil.”
BLESSINGS PRAYED, DECLARED AND DECREED
I pray verse 23 for you and me (so let’s pray together in agreement): that “the God of peace Himself sanctify [us] completely; and may [our] whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In the name of Jesus, Amen!
Let me declare and decree over you and myself, in the name of Jesus, God’s promise that “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.”verse 24. It is written. It is done. Victory is yours. God is faithful.
“27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren.”
This was Paul’s first letter (assumed, as we discussed at the beginning) and therefore there was no set rule about what to do with it. Paul is saying it is for everyone who believes, so read it to everyone who believes – not just to the nuclear group in Thessalonica. This then became the standard with all of Paul’s letters as he encouraged them to share. They were shared, copied and then shared more, and copied more and shared even more. The letters, at least one, made their way back to Peter, who declared Paul’s teachings to be “scripture” and birthed the written New Testament with those words (we will get there in our reading this year, sooner or later).
Meanwhile, “28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”
See you tomorrow for the beginning of the 2nd book of Thessalonians.
Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!