1 Thessalonians 5:12-28: Life Among Friends
Any group of people needs rules for getting along, and the church is no exception. Paul so wants the Thessalonians to "live in peace with each other" (1Th 5:13) that he closes his first letter to them with several instructions on how they can do this. These are instructions which have never gone out of date and can still be used to end the quarrels, hurt feelings and resentments in your church or fellowship group.
Warming Up to God
If you had the power to make one rule for helping people get along, what would it be?
Discovering the Word
- What does it mean for someone to be "over you in the Lord" (v. 12)?
- How can you warn a person about something they are doing wrong (v. 14) or prevent them from taking revenge (v. 15) and still live in peace with them?
- What does it mean to be joyful "always," pray "continually" and give thanks "in all circumstances" (vv. 16-18)?
- How can you test things like prophecy or teaching to find out if they are good or evil (vv. 19-22)?
- Look through the passage again and pick out the actions and attitudes (stated or implied) which are displeasing to God. What are they?
Applying the Word
- When have you found God faithful in keeping you from sin (v. 24)?
- In what way do you currently need God's faithfulness to keep you from sin?
Responding in Prayer
Follow the discipline of giving thanks in all circumstances by finding as many things in your life as you can to be thankful for.