Thursday, 28 January 2021
Walking with God and His people
Question of the Day: What are some "take-aways" from the end of Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians?
Answer: Let's take a look at a few. Paul gives us 10 "commandments" for walking with God and His people in His New Covenant community. My comments follow the Scriptures in italics.
1 Thessalonians 5:13b "Keep shalom among yourselves." Shalom is a fruit of the Spirit. Shalom is not the opposite of fighting, but a fullness of healing every broken place. It is wholeness and perfection. Shalom means we lack nothing. It is the meaning of "I shall not want."
Verse 14 "We urge you, brothers and sisters, correct the unruly, comfort the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone." Interpersonal relations in the Lord are a challenge. Mostly because none of us is perfect. But God is perfect. When He directs us (we are His ambassadors) in our relationships, those relationships are better.
Verse 15 "See that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all." This is the definition of love; seeking the best for someone else, even if it is not the best for you. Love is never selfish.
Verse 16 "Rejoice always". Sounds simple, but requires we keep our eyes on Him and not on circumstances or feelings. See the message above.
Verse 17 "pray constantly". Prayer is a conversation with God. So prayer is not just speaking to God, but also listening to God (which is the bigger challenge).
Verse 18 "in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Messiah Yeshua." Did Paul really mean "in everything?" I think so, but it's quite a challenge. Sin is generated out of an attitude of unthankfulness. Thanksgiving is a key to righteousness.
Verse 19 "Do not quench the Spirit". At Shomair, we want to provide good government without quenching the Spirit. This requires effort and balance, but under direction of the Holy Spirit, we will succeed.
Verse 20 "do not despise prophetic messages". This is similar to verse 19. Quenching the Spirit and despising prophetic messages are so close, verse 20 could be an appositive to verse 19.
Verse 21 "but test all things, hold fast to what is good". While we are not to judge, we are called to discernment. How do we "test" all things? We determine what is consistent with the message of Scripture.
Verse 22 "keep away from every kind of evil." That's straightforward. Let's do that.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,