I was reading in 1 Thessalonians a few days ago and was convicted by something I had never noticed before. The letter is a pleasant one in contrast to Galatians (which I am reading in Bible Study). Paul commends the the Thessalonians for their example to other Christians. He thanks God for them. However, it struck me in chapter 4, that although they are doing a great job and setting an example for others, they still have work to do. Paul exhorts them twice in that chapter “to do so more and more”.
1 Thessalonians 4:1
“Finally, brothers we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that you received from us how you ought to love and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.”
How often I am satisfied with good enough. God calls me to holiness. Holiness is a high calling, one that I can never reach without the saving power of God. Yet, it is one that I am to strive for. I am so often happy that I am not as bad as _____. But that is not what Jesus is calling me to. He is calling me to be like Him. He is perfect. How easy it is for me to forget this.
I close with a few verses from chapter 5. It is full of action words, which means that I should be doing something. I have to seek holiness. I can't just live my life how I want and wait for holiness to find me. Seek to do good. Hold fast to what is good. Abstain from evil.
How are you doing? Be encouraged with the following verses. If you are like me, you know you need a lot of work, but God is faithful. He will bring us to completion in Him. Press on.
1 Thessalonians 5:11, 14 - 21
“Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
And we urge you brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with then all.
Seek to do good to everyone.
Pray without ceasing.
Give thanks in all circumstances.
Hold fast to what is good.
Abstain from what is evil.”
And a verse from a hymn by Horatius Bonar:
This is not my place of resting,Mine’s a city yet to come;Onward to it I am hasting,On to my eternal home.