Paul is now closing this first letter to this young congregation in Thessalonica. They are doing so many things right; it seems Paul is afraid they are going to drop the ball. He wants them to stay holy. That is, stay connected to God. Only God is holy. And Paul says that God will “make you holy.” When we live a holy life, we are set apart, dedicated to Jesus and his purposes in the world.
We know that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. He’s the only way to the Father. It’s the good news we shouldn’t be keeping to ourselves. If we live a holy life, we are setting a good example for those who don’t know Jesus. It’s always my prayer that my own life will reflect Jesus in a way that draws people to him. I think that’s what Paul is talking about here.
When we live a holy life, it means we set our sights on things of God, including his will for our lives. Then the challenge is simply knowing what God’s will is. Simple yes, but difficult! How long will it take us to recognize God’s perfect will? Paul says we need to stay “blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.” We don’t know when that is, so our call to holiness seems endless at this point.
A few verses earlier, Paul told the church Jesus would return like a thief in the night. They were expecting to see it during their lifetime. There’s a song I’ve sung at different times of my life called, “While I’m Waiting.” It’s lyrics are beautiful in that while I’m waiting I will worship. That’s what we do. We show our devotion while we wait.
Paul is also calling for prayer. Prayer is always a good thing. We should feel honored that we are able to pray so openly to our heavenly Father. It wasn’t always like that. There were priests that prayed on our behalf. Jesus changed that, too, and opened up the lines of communication with the Father. What a privilege!
“May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” Aren’t these such reassuring words that bring peace? When we think of the gift of grace it can be a little overwhelming. It’s a gift we certainly don’t deserve. To feel the abundance of love, forgiveness, and acceptance all rolled into what we know as grace is a feeling nobody should miss out on.
Take some time today to think through those people in your life who don’t know Jesus. Just think, they don’t know the peaceful joy that grace brings. Nor do they realize they are waiting for something beyond all comprehension. It’s our job to share the good news to make sure nobody is left behind.
Let’s pray … Lord, thank you for your grace and mercy. I know I fall short in my duty to be more vocal about my faith with non-believers. Lord, open up the doors of opportunity to be more visible and credible to the people you want to reach. I’ll wait for your lead, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.