This was our fourth week in the Hello Mornings study, A Faith That Endures. Paul had us thinking about the return of the Lord, church leaders, and our own spiritual growth.
He reminds us there will be many taken by surprise as they will be unprepared for His return.
Paul’s words bring such comfort: “But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief”
(1 Thessalonians 5:4, NLT).
Here’s the thing … We won’t be surprised because we live with an expectancy of His return and so, remain spiritually prepared each day.
We live each day in light of His return, making the most of the opportunities given to us. We live with eternity in view.
What area of your life needs to be brought out of the “darkness” and into the “light”? Taking care of these areas is how we remain prepared.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15, Paul first gives us some thoughts on how we are to regard church leaders.
We are to honor them. Recognize them as the leaders of the church, those whose responsibility it is to serve, protect, and help the church to grow and remain healthy.
We honor and love them not because of their position, but because of their work (verse 13).
Church leaders work hard. It is exhausting to be on call and on point constantly. The battles waged are fierce and unrelenting.
But Paul also brings some thoughts for how we are to regard one another:
- encourage the timid
- take tender care of the weak
- be patient with everyone
- do good to each other
What can we do to encourage our church leaders, or I would also include, someone in our church, today? Let’s think of someone today and let them know they were in our thoughts.
I love that Paul’s heart was to pray for the believers. It is God, by the work of the Holy Spirit, the makes us holy in every way – spirit, soul, and body. God is the One who makes this happen.
I don’t know about you but this takes the burden off my shoulders. There is nothing we can do achieve holiness. But as we submit to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and with the application of God’s Word, He sanctifies our lives and grows holiness in us.
Paul’s prayer brings us assurance. His prayer reminds us that the God who calls us into His kingdom is a faithful God. He is also powerful and does what He promises. He will always be at work in our lives and in the Church.
Our study encouraged us to evaluate our spiritual health and growth. What has hindered your growth? And what can you do to grow? What has brought about growth in your spiritual life?
We all need to be encouraged,
to grow in holiness,
as we wait for the return of the Lord.