maxresdefault (2)So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. 1 Thessalonians 5:15 NASB 1977,

Had the wonderful privilege of keeping the grands this weekend and introducing them to the vintage Veggie Tales videos and songs. Great reinforcement of some truths that are important, even for us grown up kids. Madame Blueberry learned the lesson that “stuff” can never give you a happy heart. Larry Boy “The Hero” was overcome by temptation and only made it with the help of others. The laughed and giggled at Mr. Lunt’s Love Song with his Cheeseburgerrrrr.

Rack, Shack and Benny was a retelling of the story in Daniel of Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego. The lesson taught, reminded the boys to stay true to the teachings and lessons that they had learned as children. Even when parents were no longer physically present, the boys were to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the values passed on by their parents.

In our verse Paul uses two words to reinforce the idea of staying committed to your values. “Stand firm” is the greek work “steko” pronounced “stay-ko”. It means to remain stationary, planted and unmoving. Another synonym used to define the word is `perseverance”. The key to “standing firm” is persevering in the position that you know is true. 

The challenge to standing firm is the ability to continue to persevere. No kudos are given for resisting once or twice. No applause for turning away from the sweets, changing the channel, not clinking on the sexy image, refusing to engage in gossip, or refusing to speak hurtful words about another. Yet, perseverance and standing firm will get you to the finish line of following Jesus. 

Don’t confuse standing firm with trying to be perfect. Perfectionism and self righteousness have their own hang ups. This is about resisting temptation to cave on the values that are consistent with the teachings of the Bible and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

The second word Paul uses is “krateo” pronounced (krat-eh’-o). It means to seize, grasp or take hold of – with the emphasis of using strength to perform the actions. Other usages of the word occur in the gospels with the action of trying to “seize” Jesus. Its usage means to have a firm grasp as getting a firm grip on someone’s hand. It is an action to show that you are the master, in charge, or rule over a matter.

Paul is reminding the church that the teachings they received will give them the upper hand to stand firm to their convictions. They have been given truths that when grasped will give them the strength to persevere. Forgiveness works every time to free you from bondages of bitterness and offenses. Thankfulness repels pride and greed.  Joy found in Jesus remains, while navigating life’s worst storms. Gentleness is becoming in all situations and people that you work with.

May you be blessed today with the ability to “STAND FIRM” and “HOLD ON” to the values and teachings of the scriptures. Be thankful for the teachers and friends that helped lead you in your understanding of living in a way more perfect. When or if you fall, there is grace for you to get up and continue to keep on persevering. Be encouraged today to keep on- keeping on.

Blessings Love y’all