Paul was about all about taking responsibility for your life: “We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.” 1 Thessalonians 4:12 MSG
Paul’s guidance for busybodies. “Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11 MSG
Taking the time to enjoy: “God hasn’t invited us into a disorderly, unkempt life but into something holy and beautiful” 1 Thessalonians 4:7 MSG
Perspective. “Don’t run roughshod over the concerns of your brothers and sisters. Their concerns are God’s concerns” 1 Thessalonians 4:6 MSG
The starting point for learning to share: “may the Master pour on the love so it fills your lives and splashes over on everyone around you” 1 Thessalonians 3:12 MSG
What to do when sensing you’re helpless to help others: “We do what we can, praying away, night and day,” 1 Thessalonians 3:10 MSG
Question: “What would be an adequate thanksgiving to offer God for all the joy we experience before him because of you?” 1 Thessalonians 3:9 MSG
That’s what faith can do! “Knowing that your faith is alive keeps us alive.” 1 Thessalonians 3:8 MSG
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Psalm 8:3-4 ESV
Never give up! Never surrender! These words are the tagline of Commander Peter Quincy Taggart of the Starship Protector that’s featured in the science fiction action comedy, Galaxy Quest. The 1999 hit movie is a parody of the television series, “Star Trek.” The difference being—GQ’s crew knows they are actors living on borrowed time feeding off the devotedness of cult-like followers. That is, until space aliens show up mistakenly interpreting weekly TV broadcasts as historical documents. These other ‘worldlies’ perfectly replicate the TV space ‘stage-setting’ in a real planetary existence. Soon enough the aging actors become astronauts and a new reality is born into time and space—a clever piece of Hollywood writing!
Humankind’s quest to understand and live in the cosmos is intriguing—Galaxy Quest is just one fantasizing example. Since man learned to record his thoughts, the inability to access space has never quenched the human desire to romanticize interstellar admittance. In comparison to earth’s overall history, the ability to send humans into orbit is a relatively new experience. And since the capability to enter space is still young there are many unresolved themes to author, such as the prolonged effects of space upon the human physiology and social psyche.
This ‘human galaxy quest’ can be found penned all the back to Psalm 8, verses 3 and 4. These words reveal man’s longing:
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
The thought is that one good peek at the heavens is enough to create a thirst in man that he/she was made for something higher than “Never give up! Never surrender! The creator of the stars and the galaxies has a personal interest in the life of all human beings. The Psalmist sees this vastly rich purpose of man and wonders why a creator would take such interest in someone so much smaller and seemingly insignificant. What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? God cares for you! He will never give up nor surrender on your behalf. In fact, similarly God promises in Hebrews 13, verse 5:
“…I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Our galaxy quest begins and ends in the arms of the everlasting one. He is the Lord of the Galaxies! So, if I may alter Commander Peter Quincy Taggart’s tagline just a little, I would remind us, ‘Never give up! Never Surrender by looking to the Living God in Heaven!’ He is our ‘Galaxy Quest.’
J. Robert Hanson
Effecting others. “In the middle of our trouble and hard times here, just knowing how you’re doing keeps us going.” 1 Thessalonians 3:7 MSG