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Always Strive to Do What is Good

Date: June 27, 2024

I use the BLESS method every morning for my devotional.

B - Bible Verse
L - Listen for God's Voice and pray
E - Explore the History and meaning
S - Study the Key Words or Phrases
S - Summarize and Share

You can read more about it by going to: What is a Faith Journal?


B - Bible Verse in NIV (1 Thessalonians 5:15) Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

L - Listen for God's Voice and pray Dear Lord, help us to be kind and loving to one another, even when it's hard. Teach us to forgive instead of seeking revenge, and show us how to do good things for each other and for everyone we meet. Guide our hearts so that we can be a shining example of Your love in our community. In Jesus' name, Amen.

E - Explore the History and meaning Paul wrote this letter to the church in Thessalonica, a group of new believers who were learning how to live out their faith together. He wanted to encourage them and give them practical advice on how to treat each other and those around them. In this verse, Paul is reminding them (and us) that as followers of Jesus, we're called to respond to others with kindness and love, even when they've hurt us.

S - Study the Key Words or Phrases

"Nobody pays back wrong for wrong" - Don't seek revenge or try to get even when someone hurts you.

"Always strive to do what is good" - Make an effort to be kind and helpful, even when it's not easy.

"For each other and for everyone else" - This applies to how we treat our fellow believers and those outside our church family.

S - Summarize and Share (Community of Believers theme)

Have you ever been hurt by someone and felt the urge to get even? It's a natural feeling, but as part of God's family, we're called to a higher standard. Paul reminds us in this verse that we shouldn't try to pay back wrong for wrong. Instead, we should always try to do what's good and kind, not just for our church friends, but for everyone we meet.

Now, this isn't always easy, is it? When someone says something unkind or does something that hurts us, our first reaction might be to want to hurt them back. But that's not the way of Jesus. He showed us how to love even those who treated Him badly, and He wants us to follow His example.

In our church family, we have a special opportunity to practice this kind of love and forgiveness. When we choose not to hold grudges or seek revenge, but instead respond with kindness and understanding, we create a warm and welcoming community where people feel safe and loved.

Think about it like this: if we all tried to get even every time someone did something wrong, our church would be full of hurt feelings and angry people. But when we choose to forgive and do good instead, we spread joy and peace. It's like planting seeds of kindness that grow into a beautiful garden of love and support.

This doesn't mean we let people walk all over us or ignore serious problems. It means we deal with issues in a loving, Christlike way. We can still speak the truth, but we do it with love and grace, always aiming to build each other up rather than tear each other down.

Let's take this verse to heart. When someone hurts you, instead of planning how to get back at them, ask God to help you respond with kindness. Look for ways to do good, both within your church family and in the wider community. As we do this, we'll create a loving, forgiving community that shines brightly with God's love, drawing others to the warmth and beauty of life in God's family.

3 Bible Cross References:

Romans 12:17-18 - "Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."

Matthew 5:44 - "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

Ephesians 4:32 - "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

Question: Can you share a time when someone in your church family showed you unexpected kindness, especially when you might have done something to upset them? How did that make you feel, and how did it impact your relationship with that person and with the church community as a whole?

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