1 Thessalonians 5.23-28

The “For Sale” sign was on the lawn.  That was my first experience on this end of the real estate experience.  I gazed from my living room window as if hordes of people would stop by and make an offer on our home.

Reality set in soon after.  It was a buyer’s market. Those few who were looking to purchase a home had plenty to choose.  They could take their time and select from all the for sale signs in our city.

Our realtor was clear.  During the listing of our home, we had to de-clutter our home and keep it in show-ready condition.  They would have their office call when a prospective buyer was interested in a showing.  Then, we would have about a 30 minute window to spiff up the home and vacate for Realtors to show.

Those were tough months.  It was incredibly inconvenient to our busy family to keep the house de-cluttered when we were busy living active lives.  At first we made a game of it.  Then, we just got annoyed.

The idea that the next people might buy the house kept us motivated.  Just when we were about to give up, we received the phone call that buyers had made an offer.  It was a great relief.

Christian living is all about living out the redeemed life made possible by Jesus Christ.  It is not a life that is now “safe” therefore lived the way we would want to now that we are in control.  Rather, it is a life lived consistently with the holiness of the God who saved us in the first place.

God is now personally involved with the routine of our days.  He wants to be at the center of our lives.  Furthermore, He makes it attractive with the resulting peace that we experience in our new life in Christ.

He gives us purpose for our lives.  It is a deeply meaningful satisfaction for our hunger for significance.  This is constructed for the ultimate end that when our Lord Jesus Christ comes, we will be blameless when we meet Him.

All of us are too well aware of our human shortcomings.  We like the idea of God being personally involved with our daily sanctification.  It has many features about it that are very attractive.  But, quite frankly, we do not believe it is true.

Maybe we know the frequent disappointments of other people.  So we are dubious, we are suspicious, we are jaded.  Yet, without hesitation the Scriptures assure us that God puts the character of His own faithfulness behind this promise.  In no uncertain terms the

Scripture aligns God’s calling of our salvation with the certainty of His fulfillment to do what He has said He will do for us.

My success as a Christian is no longer dependent on my ability.  Nor is it based upon the circumstances in which I might find myself.  Instead, it is the character of God and His consistent faithfulness that each of us believers will receive all that is necessary for successfully living a spiritual life.

Christianity is not about only receiving.  It is about giving.  It is also about serving.

As the Thessalonian believers are recipients of the Apostles’ teaching and encouragement, they too should join in the community and serve others.  They can begin by reciprocating for the Apostles from whom they have received so much.  To start they can pray for the Paul and his colleagues.  Bringing up the Apostles to the Lord for petition and requests are greatly appreciated.  It is the least that the Thessalonian believers can do.

To show that their sanctification is in full swing, these believers can also greet one another with affection.  More than a courtesy or words, this embrace can express love and acceptance.  It can demonstrate fellowship, commitment and devotion.  The kiss is custom-culturalized.  Above all it is not lustful nor romantic but holy, that is, sanctified.

This Scripture and its instruction are important.  The public reading of Scripture is the practice of the day.  Reading it to one another in the Body of Christ is part of spiritual fellowship.

Grace marks the Apostle’s final words.  The theme of unmerited favor is foundational to Christian living and community.  Jesus Christ to be central in all matters of faith and worship.  As He began a good work in us so He will continue to do so by being personally involved with each of our lives.

Staying clean is never easy.  After every meal we clean of the dishes and put everything away.  It happens each and every time we eat.  Sometimes it seems like a nuisance but consider the alternative.  Our neighbors or our family would have us committed!

In the same way our spiritual lives need to be cleansed just because living on this earth calls for us getting dirty.  We still have a sin nature.  It is active.  Enemies tempt us for the sheer purpose of tripping us up.  Consciences are seared.  Yet, if we know that His love is greater and His grace is always sufficient, then, we will keep on going.  We confess our sin and He cleans us up.

We set it as our goal to be blameless.  If it does not go perfectly, He makes it possible to correct matters.  Do not fret.  This will not go on forever.  Someday Jesus will come and we will be with Him in eternity.  That is when we can rest because sin will finally be done.  How cool is that?

Thanks for joining me on this journey to live the Scriptures.