Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12, the apostle reminds the Christians that they are to continue in love, according to God’s command. They know how they are to live. They have consciences and they have God’s Word. They have been taught about how to show love and care for one another. The apostle particularly points out a life of sexual purity. His reasoning is in verses 4-6. Christians practice self control so as not to take advantage of or harm someone else. They also live a life of purity in the knowledge that God sees and knows their impurities.
How does the Lord call his people to live in socity? It is for the good of our neighbors. Verses 11-12 speak very clearly and practically. We strive for peace a life which is beneficial to others but is focused on our own concerns, a life of activity, not despising work. We are called to an appropriate level of independence, not burdening others but helping them.
A convenient way of phrasing this is that we are to love and serve our neighbors. As we do this, and as more of our neighbors learn to love and serve their neighbors, the sphere of influence grows and grows. Eventually it reaches around the whole world.
We reember in all this that the Thessalonians are people who have been taught God’s Word. Part of loving our neighbor is to share the Word of God with others. In God’s Word we find forgiveness and life. This is truly a precious thing to share with our neighbors.
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