Living Our Future Hope – Right Now!

sunriseHey Everybody…sorry, but I’m back from vacation.  I had a great refreshing from our King, and I’m stoked and ready to get to the stuff God’s given us to do.

This week we’re going to finish up 1 Thes, and we’ll study chapter 5, verses 11-28.

Paul is wrapping up his thoughts, and giving his final exhortations to the young church in Thessalonians.  He’s just come off of reminding them about the great future hope we have in Christ’s return to set everything right.  He used Jesus’ resurrection as the basis for our hope…that since Jesus rose from the dead, we know that same kind of restoration is in store for us…so be stoked!  So, we have this past event of the resurrection, and this future hope of restoration…but what do we do in the meantime?  That’s what Paul expounds on.

We, as the church, are called to live lives that reflect and actually demonstrate that future hope right here and now.  Not through big movements or grand outreach schemes…but as Riley and Dan both reminded us of last Sunday and Wednesday, through the everyday activities we pursue as children of that great HOPE!

In v11-13, Paul talks about community.  How should we live out our hope in community?  What will characterize it, according to what Paul says there?

In v14-15 he describes how we look after each other.  If you were to summarize what he’s saying there, how would you do it?  Why does this behavior toward each other represent something different from this fallen world?

V16-18 we are pointed toward a proper understanding of life’s events.  God’s will is revealed for our lives…what is it? 

v19-22 provides instruction about the work that the Holy Spirit is doing in our midst as a community.  Paul warns us not to close Him out…and what is it that the Holy Spirit is doing among us according to these verses?

V23-28 finishes up Paul’s thoughts.  We have a hope in a restoration that has begun at Jesus’ resurrection, and v24 tells us why we can be sure of that hope.  What does it say?  What must we remind ourselves of, when times are tough, and our temporal future is uncertain?  What IS certain?

Looking forward to being back this Sunday!

3 comments

  1. These final verses again show Paul illuminating and unwrapping some of the results of the death of Jesus. Paul said it in the preceding verses, Christ’s death triggered life. Not just hearts beating and lungs taking in air, but life lived “on purpose”. We are no longer the center of life, we are not our focus or purpose. Instead others and their needs should be our focus (considering others as better ….). In doing this a wonderful reaction begins. I help you, you help me, we help someone else — and so on. No one is left alone, all are included, a community is formed and sustained and ultimately a kingdom is established.

  2. Wow Rob, I am so motivated to find the answers to these questions you pose. The Message phrases things so beautifully.

    5:11-13 “Encouraging one another,” “no one left out, no one left behind,” “Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!” – speaking of leaders: those who sacrifice and “work so hard for you.”

    5:14-15 “Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.”

    5:16-18 We are so good at complicating things, aren’t we? It is spelled out so simply here: pray constantly, be cheerful, and thank God – no matter what comes your way… after all, He knew it would happen long before we did and it didn’t catch Him by surprise.

    5:19-22 Is the Holy Spirit revealing God’s word and His will among us? I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about this tomorrow.

    5:23-28 Verse 24 says that Jesus is “completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!” We must remind ourselves that through all of life’s uncertainties that God is making us “holy and whole” “spirit, soul, and body” – ready for the one thing that IS certain: Jesus Christ, the Hero King, is coming!

  3. I don’t want to just go through the motions anymore. I know I have the Passion inside of me to do all things according to His will, but I am weak in my flesh. When I let go of my will (which is so hard to do) and allow Him to work, then I am able to love like He loves. I am seeing Jesus right before my eyes and others are seeing Him too! I see the difference now. Rob, I thank God for your great teaching!

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