In This World for Good
Do you ever think that the Bible’s commands seem impossibly all-encompassing?
Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians 5 is chock-full of such directives: “Rejoice always” (1 Thessalonians 5:16). “Pray without ceasing” (v 17). Sometimes verses like these seem to raise more questions than provide answers. A bit of detail or a few caveats couldn’t hurt, could they? And what about the command in verse 15? “Seek to do good.” For whom? “Everyone.” When? “Always.” That’s a lot of good to a lot of people a lot of the time!
But perhaps instead of thinking of a command like this as impossibly general, a better way to think of it is that it is abundantly generous.
We have a God who gives and gives and keeps on giving. No matter how many times we fail Him, He still meets us with kindness. Along with Paul, we should ask ourselves, “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). The answer, of course, is absolutely nothing. It is simply in God’s nature and disposition to overflow with kindness, mercy, and grace—and as His children, we should be learning to imitate Him as best we can.
We all have bad days, of course. Inevitably, we will displease, or even hurt, someone at some point. But what if we went through today or tomorrow with the aim of always seeking to do good to everyone? What do you think would change? How would others respond? Perhaps instead of seeing others as obstacles or roadblocks, we’d see them more as men and women with dignity, who are worthy of love and respect. Or perhaps instead of us treating some people like enemies, we would begin to understand their positions and even genuinely begin to appreciate them.
Whatever the specific situations you encounter, God has placed you in this world for good. It is your privilege and your pleasure to share His kindness and His goodness with anyone and everyone you can.
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
Final Instructions and Benediction
12We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle,3 encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16Rejoice always, 17pray without ceasing, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not despise prophecies, 21but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22Abstain from every form of evil.
23Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotionals by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company, thegoodbook.com. Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, 2022, The Good Book Company.
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