The Ideal Walk, pt. 4
I Thessalonians 5
Chapter 4 taught us to:
Pt. 1 – Walk in holiness
Pt. 2 – Walk in love, walk in honesty
Pt. 3 – Walk in hope [2nd coming]
Now chapter 5:
Pt. 4 – Walk watchful [1-11], respectful [12-13], mindful [14-15], thankful [17-18], careful [19-21], faithful [22-28]
1. Walk watchful.
We are not to be just waiting for Christ’s return, but watching for it. What’s the difference?
It’s the attitude of expectancy. It’s a much more active attitude. I wait for the mail each day, but sometimes I watch for something in the mail.
These verses contrast light and darkness, drunkenness and sobriety. Part of this world has the light on, but most does not. Part is alert and watching, but most is slothful and carefree.
If watching, you’ll not be surprised.
But the world doesn’t seem to have a care.
Ill.—The Coast Guard wired the Titanic several iceberg warnings, but it fell on deaf ears.
The signs of the times are everywhere, but the world is willfully ignorant of the warning signs. The labor pains grow closer together and more frequent, and more intense. The earth will soon deliver!
2. Walk respectful [12-13]
Submission to authority. Spiritual authority.
“Admonish” = earnest advice or warning given in a gentle, respectful way. Are you correctable? Or is your current spiritual level as high as you can go?
God gives the church leaders as gifts. Now you can go out of here saying, Bro. Jerry thinks he’s just God’s gift! In a way...yes!
But while I am ‘over’ you, the same verse says I am ‘among’ you. This is a tough balance to strike. It takes some grace to prevent this from straining relationships.
v. 13 Some translate ‘esteem’ as ‘steam’...that doesn’t work! But when you submit then the end result is peace.
3. Walk mindful [14-15]
This is a family, a body, and we must think of all the other members, not just ourselves.
The unruly: this is a soldier marching out of step or out of line. We need some standards to go by. But we don’t want to overdo this and stifle the spirit of a person, which leads them to rebel outright.
The feebleminded: this has nothing to do w/ mentality. It literally means ‘little souled’. This is the negative person who is tempted to quit trying. The word ‘comfort’ here comes from the Greek para muthos which means ‘near speech’. Instead of scolding them from a distance, we must get close to them and speak tenderly. This will enlarge the ‘little souled.’
The weak: means ‘don’t let them fall!’ Hold them tight! Weak Christians are afraid of the liberty in Christ. They live by rules and regulations alone. In Roman assemblies these weak Christians would not eat meat and held to the Jewish system of holy days. And oh how they judged the mature saints who walked in liberty. We need to hold onto those as well, no matter what they may think of us, we love them and count them as dear brothers.
v. 14b It takes patience to put up with others!
v. 16 Joy takes the burden out of living the Christian life.
... this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
Every church has its doubting Thomas, gloomy Gus, or Debbie Downer. To spend time with them is like watching an autopsy. Life’s too short, and the Christian life is just too grand for such distractions.
4. Walk thankful [17-18]
The key to prayer is praise. Not requests alone. Not just complaints, ailments, and such. Those who truly want to pray are thankful people, and the blessings they recognize so well encourage them to also request for future needs, as we will tonite.
5. Walk careful [19-21]
They didn’t have the full Bible as we do. They prophesied and preached ‘immediately’ from the Spirit. I have the Bible and so I prophesy ‘mediately’...I’m just a medium of the Word. They were foretelling...I am ‘forth’telling. We never want to squelch and quench the Spirit, which is why we need to prove all things, which can easily be done today by comparing what someone says or does to the Bible.
6. Walk faithful [22-28]
v. 22 is the negative, and oh how we need a revival in this area. It’s not just what you do, but how you come across. Perception is reality for the one perceiving you. This you do for the benefit of man as a good testimony.
v. 23 is the positive, focusing on what God thinks. Not man. If you preach only the negative as rules you get out of balance.
We encourage one another with our faithfulness. We need each other. When you are not here you are missed, and we are all less blessed.
Our fellowship is sweet around here...in some churches when you dismiss people run like rats from a sinking ship!
The ideal church is about fellowship as well as discipleship...man as well as God.
v. 26 This kiss could be summed up “give a handshake all around the room among the brotherhood.” [coronavirus?]
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