My amazing one and a half year old niece is great at communicating. She is learning new words every day. One of the words she knows is “help.” She is learning to ask when she needs help doing something or getting something. She is not afraid to ask for help when she needs it. She is certainly not alone. All toddlers and young children learn the importance of asking for help. When they ask for help, they are learning that they need other people. Unfortunately, adults are not as quick to ask for help. Somewhere along the way, we miss the message that we still need other people. We need other people to walk through the ups and downs of life. This is the message that Scripture teaches.
After God created Adam, the first human on earth, He declared: "It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). God knew that humans need community. When we are alone, we are not as strong. We do not get as much accomplished. We get lazy and make bad decisions. Because God knew that humans needed each other, He created Eve. God created us human beings for community. That is why we all crave community, whether we are extroverted or the most introverted introvert. Some of us may like to pretend that we don't need community or any help, but we all need others to encourage us and help us. We also need to encourage and help others. That is why the apostle Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, "Encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” When we engage in community, we get to encourage each other and be encouraged by others. As we take steps to build each other up, we also find feelings of loneliness fade away.
Do you have a community of people who are living life alongside you? Although many of us value our independence and do not like help, we are better when we join with other Christ followers and live and serve with them. When we live life with other Christ followers, we encourage each other to live lives that honor Christ in everything we do. Our community of Christ followers is a gift from God. When we dive into the community of Christ followers God has placed in our lives, we feel equipped, encouraged, and less lonely. We need each other. Will you be willing to embrace your God-given community today?
Is there an area of your life where you need help? Don’t try to face it on your own. Reach out to someone today. Ask them for the help that you need, remembering that we need each other. Do you know someone who needs help? Call them today and offer to help them. Your invitation will remind them that they have a community of people to walk through life with. Thank God for the people He places in your life to walk alongside you.
1Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters, we don’t really need to write you. 2 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. 3 When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.
4 But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. 5 For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. 6 So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. 7 Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. 8 But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.
9 For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 10 Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. 11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
Paul’s Final Advice
12 Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. 13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.
14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.
15 See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.
16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
19 Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. 20 Do not scoff at prophecies, 21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. 22 Stay away from every kind of evil.
Paul’s Final Greetings
23 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 24 God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.
25 Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us.
26 Greet all the brothers and sisters with a sacred kiss.
27 I command you in the name of the Lord to read this letter to all the brothers and sisters.
28 May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.