Tag Archive | help the weak

Don’t be surprised

After reading 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 this morning, I realized how absolutely fitting this chapter is for followers of Christ today.  It is descriptive of our world in 2013. We are living in strained times. When we look at what is going on in the Middle East there is no question these are  the days Jesus warned us about.

For centuries Israel ceased to exist as a country but today it is once again a nation!  Not only is it a nation but it is once again central to world politics, peace etc.  It is fulfilling it’s destiny. Before 1948, it had been centuries since it had been considered a nation. Time is quickly propelling us into the fulfillment of  so many of the prophecies written in the Old and New Testaments. God’s Word is true. It never changes. It will be fulfilled, regardless of what naysayers say or do! So we need to make every day count and use our time wisely!

Today, without any additional words, I would suggest you meditate on 1 Thessalonians chapter 5.  It may be a month, year or several decades before Jesus returns. We don’t know. We do know however, that many will be deceived by not knowing the Word and not abiding in Christ. Deception is increasing and will continue to do so.  It  is so important we hold  on to what is good and reject every kind of evil. As Paul states we should not be surprised by His return. He will come as a thief in the night and we need to be ready. I encourage you to mediate on this beautiful chapter today. It is not only a word of warning but also a word of encouragement for those of us in the body of Christ. It is a reminder that our King of Kings is coming soon and we need to live our lives with that in mind!

1 Thessalonians 5 NIV 5 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 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. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil.

23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, souland body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.

25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us. 26 Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Blessings!

Don’t ignore bullying

This morning  I watched a Youtube video of a beautiful 15 year old girl, Amanda Todd, expressing her hopelessness and sorrow prior to her committing suicide. What a sad, pathetic story of a young girl that made a few poor decisions and was verbally and physically beaten by others for it. The fact that other teenagers could and would behave so vile and merciless towards her is unbelievable. Where was their decency? Where was their compassion for another human being? It is hard to believe that with all the so called sensitivity training this generation is receiving in schools and various programs etc. that one person could treat another person so horribly.

We all know people that have been bullied. Coming from a home where my own Dad was a bully, I have always detested bullying. I can remember in junior school watching a girl in my class get poked and made fun of and finally exploding at the perpetrators because I couldn’t stand by and watch!  Bullies come in all forms and sizes.. some as abusive parents, some siblings, others as coworkers, fellow students etc..  Fortunately, most of those bullied  do not take their life in desperation. Most come through it but not without their share of mental and physical battle scars!

So as followers of Christ, how should we react when we see bullying? Should we walk away and pray for the person/persons or should we speak up? Should we ignore it and hope it will go away or should we speak up and out on behalf of those  being bullied? Many people choose to walk on past and somehow justify that perhaps that person did something to warrant it….

What does the Bible say about how we are to react to those who are in a position of weakness or vulnerability?

Jeremiah 22:3 NIV This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.

1 Peter 3:8 NIV Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 NIV 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

These are powerful words and certainly don’t encourage indifference or apathy, but involvement!   In fact just the opposite, as found in Genesis 42:21 NIV 21 They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.” 

This was in reference to the way Joseph’s brothers mistreated him and later felt shame and believed the hardships they were facing was a direct result of their abuse of Joseph.  And finally Psalm 83:3 NIV Defend the weak and the fatherlessuphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.

All of these verses are verses of action. When we witness bullying or abuse we are not to sit idly by and ignore it, we are to do what we can to help. This may be with actions, with words or with intervention of others such as the police but we are NOT to ignore the plight of the poor, weak, disheartened or oppressed. As penned by Edmund Burke, “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men/women to do nothing.”

English: Bullying on IRFE in March 5, 2007, th...

 

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