Tuesday, August 12, 2008

SOAP - 8/12/08 (1 Thess 5:12-22)


1 Thessalonians 5:12-22

"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 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 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."



vs. 15

"Make sure that each of you love one another. Christians do not get revenge for a wrong that has been done them, but instead we always do what is right and best no matter what."

What is God saying?

The world says it is all about the individual. If someone does something to you the do something back to them. Always look out for yourself even if it hurts someone else. God says it isn't about yourself. It is about others. Look at the example God has set before us. God is love. Love is selfless. God is the most selfless being there is. His thoughts are concentrated on us. His actions are done to benefit us. This doesn't mean God does whatever we want. It means that God does the right and best thing for us.

If there were anyone in the universe that had the right to "get back at" it would be God, but God doesn't operate that way and neither should we. In the long wrong, what does it matter if someone does something evil against us? I don't think it is going to have a lasting affect. So why not live in such a way that no matter what evil is done to us we turn around and only do good. You never know, God just might use you to get their attention.

What is God saying to me?

I think that, for the most part, I am a forgiving person, but I am human. There is one person that had done something against my family a few years and I still struggle with how to treat him. For the most part I believe I have forgiven him, but I still get these thoughts in my head. I have to remember in every case that I am that person to God. I sinned against him and he has every right to hold a grudge but he doesn't. Instead he loves me with everything he's got. I need to do the same to all people.


This passage just reinforces the idea that love is the most important thing a Christian can invest themselves in. We should always be looking for ways to love one another. We have to remember though. Love is doing the best and right thing for others. That puts a whole new perspective on what the world considers love. True love, especially to the world, can look harsh, but it has the best intentions for a person in mind.


Father, please help me to exhibit the love you have shown me to others. Help me to never repay evil for evil but always seek to do good. Help me to be a person that does the best thing and the right thing for those around me. Thank you for listening to my prayer.

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