Wednesday, March 18, 2020

In their own words: Day 22

1 Thessalonians 5.23-25

May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this. Beloved, pray for us.

Both Paul and the Thessalonian Christians expected Jesus to return imminently and usher in the fullness of his kingdom, the renewal of heaven and earth. But this was not a survivalist sect, stocking up on baked beans in advance of the apocalypse, nor a separatist movement, looking to isolate itself from the rest of the world. All that the Thessalonians needed to do to be ready for Jesus’ return, was to live as they should, in the present. Through this, God was reshaping, “sanctifying”, them. The commitment to living as God’s people in the reality of the world is probably what kept the church from collapsing when the return of Jesus didn’t happen as they thought it would. They saw that their lives were better for the work God was doing in them anyway. “The one who calls you is faithful” says Paul. We are safe in his hands, whatever the future brings. Paul finishes with the plea to “pray for us.” He needs the Thessalonians as much as they need him.

How might God need to work in your life? Do you trust him to change you? 

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