Thursday, July 25, 2019

NTDS (69): KISS: Keep It Simple, Saints

1 Thess 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. NIV

It seems to me that we sometimes make our lives with the Lord overcomplicated. After all, we read the Bible and don’t always understand it. We don’t always know what God wants us to do in situations. We struggle with obedience to His commands and sometimes, may even be confused about what His commands actually are.

When you start feeling this way, it is good to get back to basics. In chapter 5 of 1st Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul summarized how we should live as Christians. It really isn’t as complicated as we often make it. Paul starts off with a motivational statement, as to why these believers should live their lives in the manner he will present. In verses 1-9 He tells them that the day of the Lord, as predicted many times in the Bible, will certainly come and that they should live their lives as people who will not be surprised by that fact.

1 Thess 5:4-6 "But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled."

Then, in typical Pauline fashion, he gives them simple instructions on how to live their lives accordingly. These instructions apply to us as well and can certainly help simplify life for us. You might think of these as, keeping our priorities straight. Let’s look at his list of instructions for simple Christian living.

Be self controlled (v8)
Encourage one another (v11)
Respect those who work hard at leading you in Christ (v12)
Live in peace with each other (v13)
Warn those who are idle (not working, wasting time) (v14)
Encourage those who are timid (v14)
Help the weak (most likely in the spiritual sense) (v14)
Be patient with all (v14)
Don’t pay back wrong (or evil) with wrong (v15)
Be kind to all (v15)
Be joyful (v16)
Always be praying (v17)
Give thanks to God in all circumstances (v18)
Don’t resist the work of the Spirit in your life (v19)
Don’t despise prophecy but test it by scripture (v21)
Hold on to that which is good and avoid things that are evil (v21, 22)

What Paul is teaching us here, is that our decisions on how we live should not be that complicated. If you are confused about how to live, just review this list. Just because it is simple does not mean that it is easy to do.  We must choose to do what is right in God’s eyes, as represented here. The Holy Spirit will help us to make those choices but we still have to choose.

Paul then says that God himself will keep you blameless at he coming again of our Lord Jesus. He is faithful and we can trust Him to completely sanctify us (make us holy). As it says in verse 18, … “for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”  So let’s keep it simple, saints!

God bless you

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