But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:8-11
So, I had to actually create two posts (the other is right here) about my conclusions, or better stated, ramblings, about 1 & 2 Thessalonians. So many of my favorite verses, and if you have read me for any length of time you know that I have many. OK, so the whole Bible is my favorite (except maybe Leviticus of which I am forcing myself to appreciate because it is still very important in the overall scheme of things ie. basically God is saying this is how it needs to be PEEPS! So probably it will be my favorite SOMEDAY!)
May I present to you this little checklist I made for myself based on my reading 1 Thessalonians 5. I might add, I use my journal to hash out, list clarify, scribble notes and random questions or thoughts about what I am reading. It works for me. I have also read many ways to formally study the word of God, but what I am suggesting is not formal, but personal.
The fact is I am searching scripture for myself first, to know God better, to understand Scripture, context etc. BUT, I rely on the Holy Spirit and God’s knowledge of me (which is better than my own) to bring the points home that need to be brought. Maybe it will speak to your heart, maybe you will think to yourself, “The girl is a bloomin’ idiot!”.
Either way, search the scripture yourself. Don’t rely on anyone exclusively to lay it out for you…my greatest insights and lessons have come from searching the scriptures for me. Period. You’d be wise to put aside all the extraneous Christian literature and open your Bible, too. I mean that is if you consider yourself His. Oh, and trust me, I love all kinds of extraneous reading material too. So, I have to remind myself of that fairly regularly.
So without further adieu, and feel free to make your own checklist, doodlebop drawing…whatever you need to do to bring the Word of God home to your heart, where it longs to be.
1 Thessalonians 5 (18 Point Bullet list for reflection, meditation and examination)
1. Warn the idle and disruptive
2. Encourage the disheartened.
3. Help the weak.
4. Be patient with everyone (!) That is my own emphasis.
5. Don’t pay back evil for evil.
6. Strive to do what is good for others.
7. Strive to do what is good to everyone.
8. Rejoice ALWAYS.
9. Pray continually.
10. Give thanks in all circumstances.
11. Give thanks in Christ as is God’s will.
12. Do not quench the Holy Spirit.
13. Do not be contemptuous of prophecies.
14. Test all prophecies.
15. Hold on to what is good.
16. Reject every kind of evil.
17. Acknowledge those who work hard (caring for me) in the Lord’s work.
18. Live in peace with others.
Phew. That is one mighty checklist, friends. So, I am asking God to help me live it. Have I failed? Oh, face first in the mud! Will I try again? You betcha!
Because my God is mighty to save AND to keep that which He has redeemed! I am a Work in Progress, just as you are. But, we do press on… with you on the journey!
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
See the OTHER post I wrote on my rambling thoughts as I journal my journey with Jesus this past week:The Only Place to Be Found is In Christ (JYJWJ)