I have always loved the this chapter of Paul’s letters to the church of the Thessalonians. It is packed with practical wisdom for everyone at any point in their lives. No matter how many times we have read it before, it always points us deeper, even into those things we have worked hard to make a priority of in our lives. And the core message is so simple and foundational.
Our lives as believers are to be pointed towards and lived in response to the person and work of Jesus. In light of who Jesus is, we ought to be building each other up in the gospel and encouraging each other. Because Jesus has made a way to salvation, we ought to work hard in faith and respect those who do the same. Knowing that Jesus promises to return for us one day, even if we don’t know when that will be, we ought to live grateful lives, pray always, rejoice in any circumstance, and hold fast to the deep truths of scripture.
Put simply, Jesus changes everything. And he continues to change everything about us. “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely…” This becomes not only a promise but also our prayer. Father, sanctify us in your love and grace.