Let Us Not Be Like Others


Let Us Not Be Like Others

Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 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.

But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.

So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.

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

Brothers, pray for us. Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (1 Thessalonians Chapter 5)
The command to "encourage" is found throughout the Bible. In 1 Thessalonians 15:11-23, Paul gives many examples of how we can encourage others:

5:11 Build each other up. (Point out to someone a quality you appreciate in him or her.)

5:12 Respect Leaders. (Look for ways to cooperate.)

5:13 Hold Leaders in high regard. (Hold back your next critical comment about those in positions of responsibility. Say "thank-you" to your leaders for their efforts.

5:14 Live in Peace. (Search for ways to get along with others.)

5:14 Encourage the timid. ( Encourage those who are weak by loving them and praying for them.)

5:14 Be patient. (Think of a situation that tries your patience and plan ahead of time how you can stay calm.)

5:15 Resist revenge. (Instead of planning to get even with those who mistrust you, do good to them.)

5:16 Be joyful. (Remember that even in the midst of turmoil, God is in control.)

5:17 Pray continually. (God is always with you--talk to him.)

5:18 Give thanks. (Make a list of all the gifts God has given you, give thanks to God for each one.)

5:19 Do not put out the Spirit's fire. (Cooperate with the Spirit the next time he prompts you to participate in a Christian meeting.)

5:20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt. (Receive God's word from those who speak for him.)

5:22 Avoid every kind of evil. (Avoid situations where you will be drawn into temptation.)

5:23 Count on God's contrast help. (Realize that the Christian life is to be lived not in our own strength but through God's power.)

NIV Life Application Study Bible, page 2177 Zondervan Press

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