Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God
(1 Thessalonians 4:1 NKJV)
Another Christmas is at hand, and soon after another year will turn away. Beyond the frenzy that assails many, forced to run real marathons to go from house to house, table on the table, relatives and ... we are all better, at least that's what I hear. It makes me smile this covering of a halo of goodness, to hide the hair that remains all the year on our skin. Is this better than nothing? Should we appreciate each other's willingness to do something good, or at least to do good to someone, like the good deed done by a young marmot or scout or be honest with ourselves? I believe that the good cannot be relegated to a duty to fulfill, as if those in need in these days will find perennial satisfaction. This is a way of saying that I distance myself from. When Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, he exalted them for preaching the gospel and having their faith sounded throughout Macedonia and Achaia. It was not just simple words, but a concrete faith, accompanied by action. In fact, it is their brotherly love that bears witness to this. And to those who did so much with joy, despite the afflictions and sufferings that accompanied them, the apostle urges them to do more.
The Thessalonians are told how to walk to please God: choose sanctification, abstaining and moving away from the vain way of life of pagans. The life of the Christian cannot be enveloped in bad habits, but must be distinguished through fraternal love. And on these then add " aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands" (1 Thessalonians 4:11). Nothing difficult, just want it. Pleasure to God also makes it pleasant to walk with Him. The wise Solomon declared that the ways of wisdom "And all her paths are peace" (Proverbs 3:17). I wish to encourage you to continue and to do more through the words of George Whitefield, who recalled a believer who, on his deathbed, said to a friend: "You have heard the last words of many dying men, and these are mine: a life spent in communion with God is the greatest joy that exists in the world ". And then he commented: "I can only confirm that this statement is true. It is true, I have been under the banner of the Lord Jesus for only a few years, but I have had more joy in a single moment of communion with my God, than I could have had in thousands of years from a life of sin. I appeal to all of you who fear God and walk with Him: is it not so? A day in the courtyards of the Lord for you was not better than a thousand without Him? By keeping the commandments of God, have you not had much good, and a great reward? Was His Word no sweeter than honey dripping from the combs? Or how did you feel when, like Jacob, you fought with your God? Did Jesus not come to you while you were meditating in the fields, making you recognize in breaking the bread of His Word? "
Dear in the Lord, in these days in which, at least apparently, the lasting values of affection and health are rediscovered, even if then the economy and the news always prevail over the general mood, and for many the desert seems never ending, here is the need to continue the journey in the aridity of the desert or in the tangles of the steppe. And in order not to let ourselves be overcome by disappointment, we pour our hopes of improvement on the One who remains unchanging and faithful over time. Certainly those who have chosen to trust in the Eternal know that it will not be a question of a particular day, but rather of faith nourished over time by the biblical text that will never fade, whose terminal is the glory of Heaven, just as announced in the Pauline letter. "Therefore comfort one another with these words" (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
Weekly Bible reading plan
December 23, Nahum; Revelation 14
December 24 , Habacuc; Revelation 15
December 25, Zephaniah; Revelation 16
December 26, Haggai; Revelation 17
December 27, Zechariah 1-4; Revelation 18
December 28, Zechariah 5-8; Revelation 19
December 29, Zechariah 9-12; Revelation 20