Advent Devotional – Tuesday, December 6, 2016 – So Be Good for Goodness’ Sake
12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God‘s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.
23 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. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26 Greet all God‘s people with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28
A familiar children‘s Christmas song: ―Oh you better watch out! You better not pout! You better not cry, I‘m telling you why…Santa Claus is coming to town.
Paul is warning people that Jesus will be coming back again. So to make sure they will be found holy, he provides them with a challenging list of good behavior goals in this passage.
If you and I just choose this list as our daily Christ-Like Life challenge, I am sure everyone around us will be able to see the change.
Vs 12: RESPECT everyone, even your boss!
Vs 13: Live in PEACE with each other
Vs 14: WARN those who are idle, ENCOURAGE the timid, HELP the weak, be PATIENT!
Vs 15: No paybacks! Be KIND!
Vs 16: Be JOYFUL!
Vs 17: PRAY CONTINUALLY!
Vs 18: Give THANKS ALWAYS!
Vs 19: Follow the SPIRIT of GOD!
Vs 20: Listen to the PROPHETS!
Vs 21: TEST everything! HOLD ON TO THE GOOD!
Vs 22: AVOID EVIL!
Vs 23: LET GOD SANCTIFY YOU WITH HIS PEACE! WATCH FOR HIS COMING!
Vs 24: Trust in GOD’s FAITHFULNESS!