February 6, 2009

Blessings Folk!

Encouragement. Exhortation.

Yesterday we looked at encouraging one another.

Today, let’s look at exhortation.

What is exhortation?

I like to think of exhortation as being what we see when the football coach grabs a player by the face mask, demands his attention, speaks truth to him, then sends him out to execute. Happy

To exhort means to “give warnings, advice - to make urgent appeals.”

Hear the word of the Lord…

Watch what Paul exhorts them to do…

1 Thess 4:1-12
1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;
11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
We are to:

abound more and more in walking in the manner that is pleasing to God
abound (grow, increase) in sanctification...holiness
abstain from fornication
know how to posses our bodies in holiness and honor
refuse to walk in concupiscence (lustful passion)
not live as the Gentiles
not defraud our brother in any matter...any!
remember that we are not called to uncleanness, but to holiness
not reject this teaching of walking in holiness...it comes from the Holy Spirit
increase more and more in love for the brethren
study to be quiet...to lead a quiet life
attend to our own business
work with our own hands...that we may lack nothing…
walk honestly toward those who are “without” ...outside the Body of Christ

All of this we are exhorted...strongly encouraged...to do.

Read the subsequent six verses...amazing…

1 Thess 4:13-18
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.


Paul exhorts them to pursue a pattern and practice of life that reflects the holiness of God.

He immediately ties this in with the return of the Lord. Tremendous detail here. Give heed.

Then the last verse…

We are to comfort one another with these words.

Therefore, do so today.

Pursue holiness.
Exhort yourself and one another.
Comfort one another with the truth that the Lord will return...soon, soon, soon!!

Today’s reading from the “So That’s Why!” Bible consists of pp. 201-205. Numbers 22-24...the talking ass!