As I completed last weeks blog before closing the book my eyes wandered to the remaining verses in this chapter. These are very simple verses but they give us a look into the thought process of Paul. For Paul God is everything, the beginning, the end, the all consuming director of his life. Paul wants very much to go to Thessalonica and he prays too God to open a way for him to do just that. Paul is unique in practicing what he preaches, and we would do well to be a living example of allowing God to be our guide in our life decisions. In the ordinary day to day occurrences of our life we tend to put God aside, believing we can manage things well enough. When things do go bad we cry out to him knowing we cannot get through it without his presence. Here we see Paul looking to God to lead him to and through something as simple as a routine journey from Athens to Thessalonica. To have a God directed life we must keep company with God and prayer is as good a way as any to stay in touch, so to speak.
The impossible Assignment…
The basic failure of being able to live a Holy life is that we try to do it on our own. We fail in relationships because we chose not seek His leading or just don’t try to allow God to lead us in all aspects of our ordinary day to day activities. Paul prays that God will enable the Thessalonias to fulfill the law of love in their daily lives.
Matthew 22: 37-40 NRSV
37 He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Love for One Another… Romans 13:8-10 NRSV
8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.
There is the continued emphasis on the importance of prayer in the Christian’s life, the establishment of a sustainable relationship with God. As we have noted the person who starts their day without prayer is saying, “I got this, I can handle this on my own”. Likewise when we go to bed at night without prayer we are saying that we can bear on our own the consequences of our actions that day. Our failure to live a Christian life is trying to live it without God, an impossible assignment.
In summation Paul’s pleas and instructions are meant to keep the people in righteousness so they might stand before God and be judged and not be afraid or ashamed. We must prepare to meet our God and the only way to do that is to have a relationship with him and live with him in our lives everyday. In Paul’s mind at this writing was that the second coming could occur any day…That applies to us this very day…He is coming back…Are you prepared?
Life is Good