Huddled

“And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”
‭‭I Thessalonians‬ ‭5:12-22‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Huddled

I, by my nature am an isolator. I have a profound dislike for drama and I make every effort to avoid people who do not have the adequate sense of personal boundaries to know where they end and I begin. They often find themselves intertwined with others.

Though they bring me comfort, my natural tendencies run counter to what is needed as a follower of Jesus, for each of us has greater power when we are united, collective, worshiping and praying together. Each of us comes into a given congregation from a a wide variety of situations, and backgrounds, each with our own emotional baggage that can affect how we relate to others.

This is where the Holy Spirit is of ultimate importance, for He is the unifier, having taken up residence in all those who are born again and are followers of Jesus.

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
Ephesians 4:1-6 NKJV

One body and one Spirit.

As I read through the ending of I Thessalonians, I considered the necessity of unity in the body of Christ, especially in light of the times we are in. The Lord has made us peculiar, for we believe things and espouse things, that place us at odds with the world. Because we are in conflict with the status quo, we inevitably face pressure to conform, and in not doing so, persecution.

It is crucial to be about the business of building unity in the local church. We are disparate people, each saved by the blood of the lamb, but each at different stages of development. The baby sits next to the season saint in the pew, and are one in the eyes of the Lord.

We are truly huddled masses, brought together by Jesus, to carry our His great commission to bring the Gospel to the world. Lest we forget:

“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,”
I Corinthians 15:1-4 NKJV

The times we are in have made the mission the priority, as time is truly short.

Brothers and sisters, let us focus on building up each other in the faith, looking after those who are weak, that they be made strong, encouraging those who are timid, that they be made bold. I am amazed how the Lord as actively transformed my heart. I used to be one who said what I thought, regardless of how it hurt someone.

The Lord has made me patient, humbled by showing me my own faults, that I better see those same faults in others and not be puffed up.

When the inevitable conflict arises, I respond in love instead of wrath, and I am driven by empathy, and a desire to edify. These days I would rather take the hit than render evil for evil.

The devil desires nothing more than for saints to attack each other, casting a shadow of shame on the faith. We must resist. The Lord has given us His Spirit, and has made us one. Let us be thoughtful in what we say and what we say as the tongue can be a powerful force for good or evil.

“I said, “I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, While the wicked are before me.””
Psalms 39:1 NKJV

We are being watched by the world, and how we respond under pressure can be a witness for the power of God, or proof of folly for folly for those looking for an excuse to go to hell. Let us act as ambassadors for Jesus Christ in these times.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”
I Thessalonians 5:16-22 NKJV

Let us urge one another on with these admonitions, and let us put on love within the body of the saints, and without the body as we take the message of the Gospel into a sick and dying world.

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I Thessalonians 5:23 NKJV

HAVE A FABULOUS FRIDAY!

#prayfortheharvest

#prayforthepersecuted

#prayforthepeaceofIsrael

#prayforthegospeltospreadeverywhere

https://www.allaboutgod.com/the-roman-road.htm

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