We encourage you, brothers and sisters, to instruct those who are not living right, cheer up those who are discouraged, help the weak, and be patient with everyone. Make sure that no one ever pays back one wrong with another wrong. Instead, always try to do what is good for each other and everyone else.1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 GW
Instruct those who are not living right. Some translations read admonish the idle. Is it possible for believers to be spiritually useless? Yes, of course. That’s why they need to be reminded of the truth.
The Bible teaches us that disobedience of God’s commandments is sin. It’s missing the mark. Jesus commands His disciples to go and make disciples. If we’re not doing that, we’re in sin. To know the right thing to do and not do it, is sin.
Clearly, we have a problem.
What’s the solution? Repenting of dead works and returning to doing things the way God commands.
If people aren’t making disciples, teach them how. If some disciplemakers are discouraged, encourage them to stay faithful. If some are weak spiritually, build them up in love. And above all, be patient. People are slow learners. Getting angry at them won’t help. Pray for them instead that God will help them.
Do what is good for everyone. Make disciples. Teach them to obey everything Christ taught. This is best for believers and everyone else. The more practicing disciples of Jesus there are, the better. God’s ambassadors represent the Kingdom of God on Earth.
Christ taught that believers will heal the sick and cast out demons. That’s everyday Christianity. Unless we’re all on mission, we’ll never bring the harvest in.
Teach people to obey the Word. Otherwise, you’re being disobedient to God. And that’s living in sin. And nobody wins when you’re doing that.
Father, lead the disobedient to repentance by the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Show them that there is a better way. Remind them of their true identity in Christ. Wake up the idle worshippers and move their hearts to obedience. Teach us all to obey Your Word by the leading of Your Spirit. In Your Name we pray. Amen.
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this.
Don’t put out the Spirit’s fire.1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 GW