ON THE SAME TEAM

| THURSDAY 8TH DECEMBER, 2022

Our Daily Bread 2022 Annual Edition

By: Xochitl Dixon

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:1–11, 16–18 (NIV) | Bible in a Year: Daniel 8–10; 3 John

Encourage one another and build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

When Philadelphia Eagle’s quarterback Carson Wentz returned to the field after healing from a severe injury, the NFL team’s backup quarterback, Nick Foles, graciously returned to the bench. Although competing for the same position, the two men chose to support each other and remained confident in their roles. One reporter observed that the two athletes have a “unique relationship rooted in their faith in Christ” shown through their ongoing prayers for each other. As others watched, they brought honor to God by remembering they were on the same team—not just as Eagles quarterbacks, but as believers in Jesus representing Him.

The apostle Paul reminds believers to live as “children of the light” awaiting Jesus’ return (1 Thessalonians 5:5–6). With our hope secure in the salvation Christ has provided, we can shrug off any temptations to compete out of jealousy, insecurity, fear, or envy. Instead, we can “encourage one another and build each other up” (v. 11). We can respect spiritual leaders who honor God and “live in peace” as we serve together to accomplish our shared goal—telling people about the gospel and encouraging others to live for Jesus (vv. 12–15).

As we serve on the same team, we can heed Paul’s command: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (vv. 16–18).

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:1–11, 16–18 (NIV) 

The Day of the Lord

1 Thessalonians 5:1–11 (NIV) 

5 1 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. 5 You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 (NIV) 

INSIGHT

  1. Who has encouraged you while serving on the same team?

  2. How can you encourage someone who serves alongside you?

The apostle Paul wrote the book of 1 Thessalonians to the young church in Thessalonica, a Roman colony. Thessalonica was the largest and most important city in Macedonia and the province’s capital. Because of its fine harbor, central location, and access to many roads, the city enjoyed flourishing trade. First Thessalonians was probably one of Paul’s first letters, written around ad 51 or 52 from Corinth. Only two or three years earlier, Paul, accompanied by Silas, had visited Thessalonica during his second missionary journey and established the church there. According to Acts 17:1–4, Paul taught there for just “three Sabbaths” before opposition forced him to flee the city. Paul penned this letter to encourage the new believers in their faith and to assure them of Christ’s return.

PRAYER

Jesus, please give me opportunities today to encourage someone who serves with me. In your holy name, I pray. Amen!!

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:1–11, 16–18 (NIV) | Bible in a Year: Daniel 8–10; 3 John

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