But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. Brethren, pray for us. Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss. I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen
1 Thessalonians 5
As I look towards the new year, as always I have so much in my mind and heart that sometimes I have to meander along a few different thought paths to get something coherant written.
I wanted to start 2018 off the right way, with a Bible verse and a devotional type message. Thinking about what the people here at the Heart Beat ‘do’ for one another, as a few other places on the net I go to, 1 Thessalonians 5:11 explains us pretty well. When I read the full chapter the other day, I thought it would be a good one to start off the new year with.
A few things I want to say before I ramble off on another path- some of my family and friends think I’m too negative, because I tend to focus on the hurt and bad things that go on in the world, and they ‘worry’ about me because I tend to talk too much about the end of this temporary home & life and focus on what’s coming in the next. Maybe I do dwell too much on some things, but even in the bad, the promises “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him” are ever in my mind and that to me is a positive thing, which brings joy and peace to my spirit.
It might not be popular or even positive to think about real things like persecution and suffering, especially when it’s because of people’s faith in Christ- and it’s not popular even among a lot of Christians to focus on the blessed hope that believers, especially those who are persecuted to death for their faith have, but it’s reality and it’s reality that Jesus reminds us that we are not of this world…
Over the past few years a few of us from various sites have joked about buying a town or island somewhere and just having us a place to call our own and live in peace together instead of scattered all over the hemisphere. I’ve actually thought about that a lot over the years. But I don’t play the lottery though lol, so I doubt it will ever happen that we can all scrape up enough money to do that. It is a nice thought though. Imagine desiring to live with other believers, working and enjoying life together as a community, freely discussing, praying, and sharpening each other, to “be at peace among yourselves”
I think the reason that idea, as unattainable as it seems, appeals to many of us because that’s what our Lord intended for it to be- and what it will be like when this life and world are over.
I know I’m not the only one who gets home sick. And while I do miss the swamp, my critters, gardens, peace and tranquility… home is where the heart is, and I am homesick for a place we’ve not been to yet. A lot of times my heart and mind are not in this world. Jesus tells us we’re not of this world, but we are still in it- so those of us who desire sharing together are in essence practicing what we will be doing in our future home.
We are still in it. And while the world gets crazier and more insane, we can still “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” if we only “Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings (learning scriptures). Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
The Lord doesn’t promise everything good and perfect in this world, and while we can look at the bright sides of things, hope for blessings and goodness for others, what He really asks of us while we are here is to love one another and share His message of hope. Whether or not things go right, and even especially to those who mock us.
We can have a blessed New Year of hope and changed hearts, but it is up to us to begin it. Let’s be the light and salt to a dark and hurting world, no matter the circumstances- and may 2018 be the year where “the very God of peace sanctify you wholly“.
Thank You Lord for Your word, Your love, grace and mercy. Thank you Lord for blessing us with so many of the little things in our lives, and for another year to grow and love You back, and love one another. Thank you for blessing this site with the people who come here daily and encourage and love others.
Thank you everyone who visits this place ,for being a spark that makes this it feel like home…
Until we get to go home.