Posts Tagged ‘1 Thessalonians 4:13-18’

Encourage and build each other up

June 5, 2017

1 Thessalonians 5--11

Many times the “Verse of the Day” is the perfect way to jumpstart the day, particularly on a Monday, as is the case today on June 5, 2017 where I Thessalonians 5:11 in the Message Bible provides great exhortation:

God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. 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! 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.

The Amplified Classic Bible says this:

Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing.

Simply put, the New Living Translation states:

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

Without question, as believers we encounter countless situations where we need to be encouraged and to encourage others. Hebrews 10: 25 (NLT) reminds us of the importance of coming together to fellowship with one another and to encourage each other:

25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Furthermore, we are to encourage one another every day:

Hebrews 3:13 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception.

As I went over the Verse of the Day and compared the scripture in a couple of other versions, I was inspired to write a few words of admonish, urge and encourage one another, expressed in this poem:

Encourage

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

 

Don’t stop now—keep on pursuing

Keep seeking His face

Don’t get weary in well doing

You must keep the pace

Seek and you shall find

The strength to be transformed–

Renewed in the spirit of your mind

Encourage yourself

And encourage one another

Build each other up

Every sister and brother

Speaking the truth, we grow up

Therefore, encourage one another.

Other scriptures also continue with similar words of encouragement:

2 Corinthians 13:11 (NLT):

Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.

Chapter 4 of 1 Thessalonians opens with these words:

Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more

The chapter ends by focusing on the hope of the resurrection, with this final word of encouragement which we discussed in a recent blog post:

13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died.16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 18 So encourage each other with these word

The accompanying video “Encourage one another” is a compilation of the same verse from I Thessalonians 5:11 and other scriptures and words of encouragement from Kimberly Culpen. May we all be strengthened and encouraged.

 

 

 

 

 

The return of Christ: comfort one another

May 31, 2017

1 Thessalonians 4_16-17

Each day we are confronted with this harsh reality: There is “a time to be born and a time to die.” Even though death can be one of the most challenging issues to confront us, the Scriptures provide great encouragement, comfort, and hope. Such a passage is found in 1 Thessalonians, an epistle whose focus is the return of Jesus Christ. Revised and re-posted, the Verse of the Day for May 31, 2017 speaks of the glorious appearance of our Lord and Savior in this way in the Message Bible:

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17:

And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence—we have the Master’s word on it—that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they’ll be ahead of us. The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God’s trumpet blast! He’ll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise—they’ll go first. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we’ll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words.

Often recited at funerals or memorial services, this celebrated passage makes reference to a subject that continues to generate much discussion: the return of Jesus Christ. Whether referred to as “the Rapture” or “the Gathering Together,” or somewhat irreverently called “the Big Snatch,” the Return of Christ still stirs the hearts of believers. Although the term “rapture” is not used in the Scriptures, the Latin derivation of the word is translated from the Greek word harpazo, meaning “to carry off,” “snatch up,” or “grasp hastily.”

Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, the Bridegroom, went away to prepare a place and promised to return for his bride. That promise ignites passion in the heart of believers. Lately this “enduring flame” burns even more brilliantly, as we grow older and witness the passing of family members, friends and loved ones, especially contemporaries of our same age range. Such occasions bring to mind the words of the Psalmist who describes our lives as but a vapor.

Whether the person who dies is a celebrity in politics, entertainment, or some other area or an ordinary co-worker or neighbor who lived and died in obscurity, during such times we may experience the depths of sorrow and a sense of loss that can be overwhelming. As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we take comfort and encouragement from the passage that includes the Verse of the Day. The New Living Translation of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 offers great comfort and assurance:

 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. 17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. 18 So encourage each other with these words.

The powerful lyrics to one of the classic hymns inspired by the hope of Christ’s return provide a vocal picture of what will occur “When He Shall Come”:

In memory of Victoria Lynn Dunn: A life becomes a legacy

December 10, 2015

Victoria DunnRecently on the very heels of a “mountain top time” of celebrating the goodness of God, as my wife and I were ordained to serve in ministry at Christian Provision Ministries in Sanford, NC, we returned home to learn that a beloved sister in Christ, Victoria Lynn Dunn, one whom we closely worked with over the past years, had suddenly passed away.

Though we know the truth that death is a part of our earthly existence, situations such as this remind us of the truth from Ecclesiastes which so clearly states:

3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

Even so, we still have difficulty grasping this stark reality at times like these. The poet says,

The mind made numb with pain can only try
To make sense of the immense ache that stays.
The answer sounds since Adam but still dismays:
It is appointed unto man once to die.

In response, the Psalmist speaks these words: “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Each day provides us with countless opportunities to learn and grow in God. At times such as this the lyrics to the song “Lessons to Be Learned” speak to us:

Just like the seasons, there are reasons for the path we take.
There are no mistakes, only lessons to be learned.

And so we ask God, what are you trying to teach us in this situation where a dearly beloved friend and fellow believer has departed from this life. In this particular situation, we learn to trust in “the God of all comfort who comforts us with the comfort wherewith we able to comfort one another.” A passage Thessalonians reminds us that we are comforted by hope of the Return of Jesus Christ. Most amazingly, the Verse of the Day on the day that Victoria departed from this life was one of the metaphors that Jesus used to describe himself in John 11:25:

Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, relies on) Me [as Savior] will live even if he dies;

As believers, we rejoice in knowing that just as Jesus died and rose again, so shall those who sleep in Jesus (or those who die in the Lord, be raised from the dead, and those who are alive and remain will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Wherefore, the Apostle Paul says, “Comfort one another with these words.”

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NLT) provide great comfort and assurance:

13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.
15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died.
16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves.
17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.
18 So encourage each other with these words.

In recalling Victoria Lynn Dunn, my mind is flooded with fond memories. I close my eyes and hear an extraordinary singer with a voice echoing the pathos of legendary blues singers, the deep-seated joy of renowned gospel artists with whispers of jazz stylists all blended with a contemporary sound that was distinctively her own. More than just a great singer, she was a gifted psalmist with a prophetic voice to minister to the heart and soul of in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. In addition our beloved sister in Christ was a scholar of African American literature with a passion to teach, to enlighten and inspire, a poet, and most importantly a teacher with a rhema word from the heart of the Father. She shall surely be missed but during such times of loss, we are sustained by golden memories of a wonderful sister in Christ who touched and enriched our lives in so many ways.

In 2007 Victoria wrote a poem for her sister’s 50th birthday. This excerpt from the poem is a fitting tribute to Victoria Lynn Dunn, as we reflect upon her life and the legacy she leaves behind:

The Life That Becomes a Legacy

The life that becomes a legacy
is never merely measured in days
never simply seen through the haze of unmet expectations
and dreams deferred.

The life that becomes a legacy
is never merely one that teaches
but is one that reaches toward the mark
pressing whether or not it makes it—today.

The life that becomes a legacy
keeps kindly in view tomorrow
and mediates its sorrows
with joys unspeakable
and sometimes spoken.

The life that becomes a legacy
becomes that legacy
despite a history of many things
shattered
broken.

But never destroyed
for even broken things and broken wings can fly
Contrary to the black bard Dunbar
for there Is one far greater than he
and HE wrote your story before ever any bird was caged
HE set the stage of the play that would become the great drama of life.

And HE never sees anything too broken not to care
too broken for repair and, in fact, delights in repairing broken things
broken dreams
and making them new.

We close this blog entry by listening to Babbie Mason who sings “Trust His Heart” to remind us that

God is too wise to be mistaken;
God is too good to be unkind,
so when you don’t understand,
when you don’t see His plan;
when you can’t trace His hand,
trust His heart.

A glimpse of a new heaven

June 1, 2014

Revelation-21 4

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21: 2-4 KJV

The Verse of the Day is a familiar passage from the last chapter of the Bible which provides a view of a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness. I recall reciting this particular passage in remarks that I shared during my father’s funeral, as I concluded by looking ahead and projecting toward the future with hope. At the time my wife was involved in planning a family reunion for her mother’s family that would take place the next month. Such an occasion reminded me of the ultimate family reunion, the marriage supper of the Lamb, which is described in Revelation 21:1-4:

The passage from the last chapter in the Bible relates to hope not in the broad, general sense as defined as “an expectation of a future good,” but it alludes to “the Hope,” defined as the return of Jesus Christ, an event that precedes the marriage supper of the Lamb. Indeed, “the Hope” continues to be a theme that energizes believers in the midst of these perilous times that engulf the world, as Titus 2:13 reveals:

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;

I concluded my remarks at my father’s homegoing service by reciting I Thessalonians 4:13-18, another familiar passage related to the Hope:

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.

16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

David Phelps provides a vocal picture of a new heaven and earth where there is “No More Night.”

 

He shall return

May 31, 2014

1 Thessalonians 4_16-17

The Verse of the Day for May 31, 2014 comes from 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17:

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: 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.

This particular passage makes reference to a subject that continues to generate much discussion: the return of Jesus Christ. Whether termed “the Rapture” or “the Gathering Together,” or somewhat irreverently called “the Big Snatch,” the Return of Christ still stirs the hearts of believers. Although the term “rapture” is not used in the Scriptures, the Latin derivation of the word is translated from the Greek word harpazo, meaning “to carry off,” “snatch up,” or “grasp hastily.”

Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, the Bridegroom, went away to prepare a place and promised to return for his bride. That promise ignites passion in the heart of believers. Lately this “enduring flame” burns even more brilliantly, as we grow older and witness the passing of family members, friends and loved ones, especially contemporaries of our same age range. Such occasions bring to mind the words of the Psalmist who describes our lives as but a vapor.

Whether the person who dies is a celebrity, such as Maya Angelou, who recently passed away at age 86 or a co-worker who lived and died in obscurity, during such times we may experience the depths of sorrow and a sense of loss that can be overwhelming. As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we take comfort and encouragement from the passage that includes the Verse of the Day. The New Living Translation of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 provide great comfort and assurance:

 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.

14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

15 We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died.

16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves.

17 Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.

18 So encourage each other with these words.

The lyrics to this song remind of the certainty of the Savior’s  promise:

He Shall Return

 

He shall return.

He shall return.

Look up toward the Eastern sky.

He shall return.

He shall return.

Look up, your redemption is drawing nigh.

 

He shall return.

He shall return.

He shall return.

 

Derrick Drover provides a vocal picture of what will occur when “He Shall Come.”