Posted by: judy | April 8, 2009

P.S . . .

papyrus-letter

In Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians at Chapter 5 verse 12; the heading in my Bible is:

Various Exhortations

From my days of  Fund Development work, one of our consultants told us that the ‘P.S.’ at the end of a letter is the most fully read and should contain the most important point you want the reader (and potential donor) to absorb.

It struck me this morning, the similiarities of this ‘Miscellaneous-type’ heading, ‘Various Exhortations’  is to . . .

‘Odds and Ends’ in the subject line of an email,

an ‘Oh, By the Way’ in a conversation, and

the  ‘P.S.’ in a letter

I am thinking the exhortations which follow might be very important and something Paul wanted the Thessalonian Church to remember after he left. Could it be he understood the future challenges facing the visible church? Here they are pulled out as bullet points — I love this clear and concise list!

  • Appreciate those who diligently labor among you & esteem them very highly
  • Live in peace with one another
  • Admonish the unruly, encourage the faintheated, help the weak, be patient with everyone
  • See that no one repays evil for evil but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people
  • Rejoice always
  • Pray without ceasing
  • Give thanks in everything for this is God’s will in Christ Jesus
  • Do not quench (douse with sin) the Spirit
  • Do not despise prophetic utterances BUT
    • Examine everything carefully;
    • Hold fast to that which is good
    • Abstain from every form of evil

Verses 19-22 carry pieces of the same thought: John MacArthur notes:

This call for careful testing and discernment is in response to the command in v.20 (Do not quench the Spirit). One is never to downgrade the proclamation of God’s Word, but to examine the preached word carefully. What is found to be “good” is to be wholeheartedly embraced. What is “evil” or unbiblical is to be shunned.

How does one ‘downgrade’ the proclamation of God? 

Might it be when we try to apply our wisdom or man’s knowledge to God’s Word,

or minimize the power of God’s Word, or

try to avoid the truth in God’s Word, or

question God’s Word

I am reminded of Eve in the Garden contemplating the implications of the serpent’s question:

“Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”
(Genesis 3:1)

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
1 Thessalonians 5:28

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