Thursday, August 11, 2016

Measuring Sticks

So as I walk through the two letters from Paul to the Church in Thessalonica, I thought I'd pause and share some of my thoughts in writing. I often wander away from any series I tend to start on my blog/journal as I don't like to keep God in a box, but I think sometimes it's also important to finish an idea that I start. So in an attempt to finish said idea, I had a few things that I thought I'd share this week from his letters ...

This is Day 4: Click for day(s): 123

We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-22 ESV
This list of final instructions from Paul is a great measuring stick for us today. I sometimes lay my head down on my pillow and think over my day (a period of time that I used in exchange for this gift of life I've been granted). Some people consider the worth of their time when pondering various activities.

I know how to change the brakes on my car, but with the heat, my schedule, having to run to the store, is it really worth the savings I would gain or should I just take my car in for service somewhere? What is my time worth?

Yet each day when you get up, you make a decision on a much more important reality ... what will you choose to give up in exchange for one more day of your life? How much is one day of living on earth worth to you? If your view of life is temporal, this may make you squeamish to even think about. My anxiety can make it difficult too, but I choose to ask the question nonetheless. It's a great measuring stick.

We are saved by Grace, but that doesn't mean we should not set goals - eternal goals - for our day.

Paul's exhortation leaves us with questions. Today, did I:

  • Admonish the Idle?
  • Encourage the Fainthearted?
  • Help the Weak?
  • Be Patient with All of the Above?
  • Seek to do Good (both with the body of Christ and outside)?
  • Rejoice?
  • Pray?
  • Give Thanks?
  • Quench the Spirit (or did I fan it into Flame)?
  • Hold Fast to Good?
  • Abstain from Evil?
If you are a Christian you have undoubtedly had days where you laid your head to rest, and in peace and joy (not pride) were pleased with how you let God work through you that day. You were pleased with what your life transaction that day returned. Don't you want to feel like that more often? Don't you want to feel like that every day?!

Perhaps this simple list (Hey, I didn't make it up) is here for a reason *gasp* ... maybe it applies to us even today!? *gasp* ... so perhaps you ... and I ... can sit alone with God tomorrow morning (or right now) and simply ask where He wants you to go. Let us stop trembling in fear of where He will take us when we know He is a trustworthy Leader.

One more note. This is not a measuring stick to be held against others or used to compare yourself to them. We all know some amazing Christians that have it all together. However I got a little secret ... They don't - they're messed up too!

So let's just look to God ... stare at Him ... not others ... and see where He calls us.

And then ... move!


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