v1-11 - One big thing the people Paul wrote this letter to were struggling with was trying to figure out exactly when Christ would return. Many still struggle with trying to figure this out today! The answer is crystal clear:
The timing of the Lord's return will be a surprise to everyone; it's totally unpredictable.
Even so, as a Christian, you know it's coming. so be ready for it.
Live as 'day people,' alert and ready at all times;
Keep your faith, love and hope of salvation strong and rely heavily upon them;
Above all, stay close to the church, so that you might be encouraged, building up others and being built up yourself.
v12-22 - Respect the elders in the church, who admonish and care for you.
v13b-22 includes sixteen different commands Christians must adhere to.
This list is a basic definition of what it means to build up others while allowing them to build you up.
v23-28 - Paul ends this letter, as he often does with a beautiful benediction.
I really like verses like v16. It's only two words:
Yet those two words pack a massive dose of theology. What things must be true for you to rejoice always? Everything the Bible says is true: God created all things, and although sin has stained so much of God's creation, He's redeeming all things and will make all things new. Therefore, you can rejoice. What sort of things must you do to rejoice always? Paul has an easy answer for that in v17: