1 Thes. 5:9-11 - Encourage One Another

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 - Encourage One Another

9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.  11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

This short little passage, tucked at the end of thought about the coming of the Lord and just before several quick practical instructions for the believer’s life, is a higher truth and instruction bridging the  two together.  

Firstly, it is higher because it draws our attention to both the Lord and to eternal truth.  While God stands in righteousness and ultimately as Judge over all things, IN CHRIST we are not “destined for wrath.”  Jesus, the Anointed One, the Christ, the very Son of God has come to our world.  He not only came, but lived flawlessly as is His nature and gave His life as a ransom, paying for the sins of the world.  His death offering complete forgiveness to all who believe in Him.  So, while I/we deserve God's wrath on our own, we can live KNOWING that we are free, and with confidence for those who have died in faith.  

Secondly, with this eternal and ultimate confidence in the Lord, we are able to live with less concern for our own way, our own wants, or honor for ourselves.  Rather, we can live with a stable foundation in what Christ has already done for us, and live, in gratitude, with a focus on being a help and encouragement to others.  We can choose to "encourage" and "build" in one another's lives knowing that our own destiny is graciously cared for.  In addition, as we practice this, we are encouraged and we find satisfying purpose worth living for, and even have times when we receive honor.  If we can selflessly give of ourselves to others in a reflection of His glorious gift of forgiveness and sonship, the Lord will bring real good toward us as well.

There are fearful and difficult times, to be sure.   Life can be a whole spectrum from relationally messy to completely heart-wrenching.  These are times we need the confident knowledge of God's love and care AND how helpful others can be as they encourage and build up.  

Lord, help us.  Help us to see You clearly, to see Your love, Your grace, and Your care.  Give us wisdom in sharing of this goodness into others' lives.  Father, may we give you honor, glory and praise in the way we become a reflector of grace and love, focused on what is good for someone else and not selfishly concerned only of ourselves.  Thank you, Lord, for the gift of complete forgiveness in Christ, for providing salvation from the debt of our own sin.  We choose to praise you with both our words and lives.  

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