Hi everyone, it’s Mick here and welcome to Wednesday’s Podcast. Today, we come to the end of Paul’s first letter to the believers in this small house church in the vibrant Greek city of Thessaloniki; here are two thousand year old words which are as relevant today as the day they were written helping us live out our Christian life in challenging times. The bible reading today is 1 Thessalonians 5:23-28 and our focus verse is v24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
This final chapter of the letter brings together Paul’s encouragement in the previous chapters for these believers to live out their Christian calling every day. As was said yesterday, this is a tough calling, but Paul brings Godly inspiration to by reminding them, and us that whatever we face ‘the God of peace’ is with us (v23); ‘sanctifying us through and through’ – the word ‘sanctify’ here means to be set apart for God and to be made whole by God in spirit, soul and body. Why? to experience his divine Better Life, to live this life and make a difference in the places he puts us.
This promise gives us great confidence as we step into our day – Jesus is with me, guiding me, strengthening me, building me up, making me more like him, restoring me, renewing me, releasing his fruitfulness and love into my life right now. My day takes on a whole different meaning when I realise this. Whether I’m working from home, preparing for a Zoom meeting (aargh!), homeschooling, hanging the washing out, cleaning the house, cleaning the kids (again),feeling restricted in my house, flat, sheltered accommodation – wherever we are, in the ordinariness of my day, my life is extraordinary because Jesus, the God of peace is with me. Wow! Who says the Bible has no relevance for today!
But Paul’s encouragement is even greater; before his instruction to read this letter to the church and to give holy hugs and kisses (not allowed in lockdown!) he now brings these great words of hope to his listeners in v24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. This letter was written in Greek and these words literally say. ‘Faithful is he who calls you, and he will bring it to pass’. Or, to put it another way ‘Jesus, who I totally trust with my life, calls me by name to come into his presence and says ‘“I will make it happen’”.
“Make what happen” you might say? Jesus will make happen the promises he has made for you and your future. In a nutshell it means this – He is at work in you today and will continue his work of transformation in you; he will encourage and empower you to live his Better Life, one kindness, one small act of generosity at a time. Jesus has plans for you and they are good plans.
We are living in demanding times – people are experiencing both physical and emotional pressures every day; lockdown is easing but this is now causing different issues which we all have to face. We are looking for guidance from those in authority – we are looking for a new confidence in our lives which will lift us from this seemingly never ending uncertainty about the future. Well Christian, be encouraged today! This is the situation these first century Christians in this small church in Thessaloniki faced. His words to them can bring great encouragement and confidence to us today. the God of peace is with us and whatever we face The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
Whatever you face today, wherever life has taken you, however you are with your faith, the truth is with Jesus, the best is yet to be!
Lord Jesus, thank you for your faithfulness to me and those I love. Thank you for your call, your invitation to live your Better Life. I welcome you into my life afresh this day. God of peace, come. Amen
BIBLE READING: 1 Thessalonians 5:23-28
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 and sisters, pray for us. Greet all God’s people with a holy kiss. I charge you before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers and sisters.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.