1 Thessalonians 5:12-28

1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 … Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians ends with vigorous encouragement and direction for believers. Verse 12 begins with counsel to value and support those in Christian service in the church … the pastor and staff. Their value in the church and community is substantial and the church is strengthened by our right response to church leaders. From 5:14  through 5:22, there is a staccato of 12 very brief, but very important commands to guide believers in their daily walk. These are worth writing somewhere handy for frequent reference. They are all things that increase our own sanctification and Christian growth: encourage, help, be patient, rejoice, pray, and be thankful; each is an important attitude and mindset to cultivate. If you develop these traits, it’s difficult to be bitter and to over-react to adverse circumstances we regularly encounter.

One of these 12 we might emphasize … verse 19 (NASB) … Do not quench the Spirit. This of course refers to the indwelling Holy Spirit and alerts us that we can reduce His influence in our lives. In Ephesians 4:30 we’re told that we can also grieve the Holy Spirit. He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), but to our own discredit, it’s possible for us to diminish His influence. That ought to be a great caution. This wonderful letter ends with a memorable benediction (v.23) and a request that the letter be circulated among believers because, then and now, it’s applicable to all.

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