It goes without saying that you are grappling with new methods of doing an old work in the Great Commission and the care of the Church. I know your labors of love and works of faith. Be strong and courageous in Christ, dear friends.
It may seem our Master has gone into a far country. But he will be back in a physical and personal way. However, in reality he is dwelling inside of you and seeing all you do. He will never leave you nor forsake you neither in this age or the age to come. He is just not where we can touch and see him presently except in spirit by faith.
Let us be fruitful and multiply both in personal and corporate spiritual maturity and in advancing the gospel for the salvation of sinners. That’s numbers, friends. The world is full of souls headed for death and destruction in eternity. Harvest them while you can.
I’m thinking of all the scriptures I can recall and I cannot remember even one that tells us to allow ourselves to be beaten down and fail. Every one of the texts I know speaks of victory for us and those we influence. But what should be our attitude and behavior?
The Old King James Version says something like this, “Rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Say…, that text is loaded with good instruction for using wisdom in our conduct. Let’s read it from the Message.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-28, MSG
1. I don’t think, friends, that I need to deal with the question of when all this is going to happen.
2. You know as well as I that the day of the Master’s coming can’t be posted on our calendars. He won’t call ahead and make an appointment any more than a burglar would.
3. About the time everybody’s walking around complacently, congratulating each other–“We’ve sure got it made! Now we can take it easy!”–suddenly everything will fall apart. It’s going to come as suddenly and inescapably as birth pangs to a pregnant woman.
4. But friends, you’re not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this?
5. You’re sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand.
6. So let’s not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart.
7. People sleep at night and get drunk at night.
8. But not us! Since we’re creatures of Day, let’s act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation.
9. God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ.
10. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him!
11. So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.
12. And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience.
13. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love! Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part.
14. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs.
15. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.
16. Be cheerful no matter what;
17. pray all the time;
18. thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.
19. Don’t suppress the Spirit,
20. and don’t stifle those who have a word from the Master.
21. On the other hand, don’t be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what’s good.
22. Throw out anything tainted with evil.
23. May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together–spirit, soul, and body–and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ.
24. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!
25. Friends, keep up your prayers for us.
26. Greet all the Christians there with a holy embrace.
27 And make sure this letter gets read to all the brothers and sisters. Don’t leave anyone out.
28. The amazing grace of Jesus Christ be with you!
Be wise, not gullible, trust Jesus Christ and stay on task in the Great Commission and Great Commandments. It is our goal to always Focus on Jesus and Follow His Plan.
Be strong and courageous, friends. Nothing can stop you when you are working with the strength of Jesus Christ. That does not mean you won’t suffer, just to be clear. If that is what you are searching to find, not suffering I mean, you may need to go back to worshiping yourself. We are servants of the Most High God, soldiers of the cross, an elite force of the Kingdom of Heaven in this age, sent as ambassadors of Jesus Christ to reconcile the lost back to him.
We do his will, not our own, except when our will is to do his will. When that happens, he will give you the pleasures of your heart. Psalms 37:4, Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (NIV)
If there was a better Team of Ministry Partners to be had, our Lord would provide it. That is why I know you are the best there is and encourage you to be all you can be with peace in your heart and joy in your soul, even in the face of adversity and pain. I thank the Lord always for bringing you and me together in the service of our God.
I know you are working and serving our Master. I count it a privilege to be named among you. I love you with the love of the Lord. Be strong and courageous.