October 12

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“See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people” (1 Thessalonians 5:15 NLT).

From: October 12, 2018

DO GOOD TO ALL PEOPLE AT ALL TIMES
Paul’s instruction to the Thessalonians is straight out of the Jesus playbook! Didn’t Jesus teach us to turn the other cheek and to pray for those who persecute us? This is a hard saying, for it goes against our desire to inflict pain back onto those who injure us. Yet, it is one of the most radical responses that we can make. For it breaks the cycle of evil by overcoming evil with good. To love our enemies is to be like Jesus who died for us while we were yet sinners.
 
Who has hurt you today and you are even now thinking about how to hurt them back? Stop. Release your hurt to the Lord, asking Him to defend you, so that you might do good even to that one who has hurt you.

“Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 82:3-4 NKJV).

From: October 12, 2017

Instructions to the people of God for the poor, the fatherless, the afflicted and the needy:
 
1. Defend them. They are among the least powerful in society. They need your defense. Stand with them when more powerful people and power centers mistreat them.
2. Do justice towards them. Treat them fairly and with dignity. Don’t join those who look down on them.
3. Deliver them. Give them the message of deliverance, which is the gospel. And with it, help deliver them from their physical needs for food, clothing and shelter.
4. Free them. Many of them are enslaved by addictions. Be involved in ministry to them that would break their chains.
 
Jesus taught that when we care for the hungry, the thirsty, the homeless, the naked, the sick and the prisoner, then we have cared for Him. Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matt. 25:40).
 
How will we involve ourselves in this ministry to the “least of these?”

“And to this people you shall say: ‘Thus says the Lord: Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.'” (Jeremiah 21:8 ESV)

From: October 12, 2016

Jeremiah was given the difficult task of prophesying that Jerusalem would fall to the Chaldeans (Babylonians). They could not win a fight against the besieging army because God Himself had sent them as an instrument of His wrath. If they chose to stay and fight, they would die. But if they chose to surrender to the Chaldeans, they would live. Jeremiah boldly preached, describing the “way of life” and the “way of death” to them. Being called to preach against his own nation was a heavy burden for Jeremiah. Yet, a true prophet, a true preacher, must put God first above all worldly concerns. God calls His ambassadors to declare the “way of life” and to warn of the “way of death” without regard to political correctness and affiliation.

“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” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 NKJV)

From: October 12, 2015

Paul must have written this letter in October to encourage Pastor Appreciation Month. 🙂 For he urged the Thessalonians to give recognition, high esteem and love to those who labored and served as their shepherds. There is a sinful human tendency to rebel against authority. Yet, believers are to be submissive to God and to those whom He has placed “over” them to “admonish” them. This makes the hard work of shepherding more beneficial for both the pastor and the people.

“His word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it!” (Jeremiah 20:9b NLT)

From: October 12, 2014

This is a description of how the prophet Jeremiah felt before he preached. The Word of God burned within him until he had to let it out. The disciples who encountered the risen Lord Jesus on the road to Emmaus described a similar feeling, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32). Does God’s Word set your heart ablaze?

“Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work.” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13)

From: October 12, 2012

Paul says that we should “honor” our spiritual leaders. In a culture that celebrates individualism and rebellion against authority, we must swim upstream to honor our leaders. It goes against our worldview. Yet, those who follow Christ have transformed minds that recognize this need for submission to authority. Do you honor your pastors, teachers, small group leaders… do you honor those who lead in the Lord’s work?