Celebrating 76 Years Of Ministry
To God Be The Glory
Current Sermon Series:
“Salvation in the Gospel of Luke”
September 7th: “The Parable of the Sower”
Read Luke 8:4-15. Please join us at 10:45 AM.
Our Unity Revival will be
Sept 21st thru 24th at 7 PM.
The speaker will be Kevin Beck.
Please join us for uplifting music
and challenging messages.
Each Sunday there is a children's program for children K through 5th grade. It is from 6 to 7 PM.
Senior's Exercise Class on Wednesdays at 10:30 AM. For men and women of all ages. Handicapped accessible.
Each Saturday - Men's Bible Study at 9:00 AM
Third Saturday of each month at 10:00 AM - The Food Pantry is open to all who are in need.
Fourth Saturday of each month at 10:00 AM - Our Clothes Closet is open to the community.
Relations in the Church
In the final section of 1 Thessalonians, Paul gives a number of practical instructions to the church followed by a prayer for their sanctification. These are found in 1 Thessalonians 5.14-24. In Paul’s instructions he is explaining how we as believers are to relate to different individuals in the church. It is important that we relate well to others and to God if we are to be a healthy, strong church.
First, Paul tells us how to relate to our leaders. He writes, “Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other” (vv. 12-13). Our leaders are described as those who work hard, who are over us in the Lord, and who admonish us. This group probably refers to elders, who are spiritual leaders in the church. Paul says we are to respect them and hold them in highest regard. When we do this, we are the ones who benefit (see Heb 13.17). If you bless your leaders, God will bless you.
Second, Paul explains how we are to relate to one another. Verse 14 reads, “And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” Notice that Paul is speaking to the “brothers,” which means he is speaking to the church as a whole. Thus, leaders are not the only ones who are to admonish and look out for the flock; individual members are to do this as well. Individual members are to warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, and help the weak. And with all these groups, they are to show patience and love.
Third, there is a correct way to relate to those who wrong us. Paul explains how. He writes, “Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else” (v. 15). We are not to repay anyone wrong for wrong; rather, we are to be kind to those in and outside the church. Retaliation is not an option for the believer. Jesus taught the same thing in the Sermon on the Mount (see Matt 5.38-48). Fourth, we are to relate to God appropriately. Paul says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (vv. 16-18). Our response to God and his work in our life is to be one of abiding joy, regular prayer, and constant thanksgiving. And each of these activities is said to be God’s will for our lives.
Last, Paul tells us how to relate or respond to God’s word. He writes, “Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil” (vv. 19-22). We are not to quench the Spirit by despising God’s word proclaimed to us. Rather, we are to test what is spoken in the Lord’s name and hold on to what is true and beneficial, and reject what is not (see Acts 17.10-11; 1 John 4.1-3). This provides great balance for us. We are not to quench the Spirit by despising what someone says as a spokesman for God, but neither are we to be gullible and believe everything we hear. We are to test what is spoken to see if it fits with God’s written word.
After giving these instructions, Paul concludes with a prayer. He prays, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it” (vv. 23-24). The only way we can respond to these different situations appropriately is with the help of God. That is why Paul concludes this section and this letter with a prayer for God to sanctify us completely. Thus, our responsibility is coupled with God’s empowerment. With God’s help we can do what God has called us to do!
For more devotions by Pastor Mark, visit his blog at drmarkjackson.wordpress.com.