Posts Tagged ‘First Epistle to the Thessalonians’

When your friends or family do something for you, I bet you always say thank you to them for their help, so why treat God any differently? Therefore, as well as talking to God about things that are worrying you, and things you especially need His help with, please remember to say thank you to Him for all He does for you.

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV)

Expressing gratitude to God is an essential part of our prayer life, as it reminds us of what He has been and is doing within our lives, bringing us peace, comfort, and joy.

So give thanks with a grateful heart…

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (The Message)

May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!

Last week I focused on the verses 12-22 of 1 Thessalonians 5, which give us instructions for living as Christian. So today to conclude this series I want to focus on verses 23-24 from this same chapter of Thessalonians.

In these verses we hear a prayer, a prayer that God will make us holy and whole…but are we ready and willing to be made holy?

God can’t work in, or through us if we don’t let Him in. Not only must we let Him into our lives, but we must let Him into every part of our lives. i.e. We must keep nothing back from God. Only then can God truly make us holy.

My heart’s one desire
Is to be holy
Set apart for You, Lord
 I choose to be holy
Set apart for You, my Master
 

Once again today I’m looking at how, as Christians, we should live our lives, again using words from the bible for guidance.

Today’s text is from 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 (The Message):

Don’t suppress the Spirit, and don’t stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don’t be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what’s good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.

So on one hand we’ve to make sure we don’t ignore those being used by God to spread His message, but on the other hand we’ve got to make sure we don’t get taken in or fooled by those who do not believe in God…confused? Well don’t be, as hopefully I can clarify some of this for you…

Put simply, I believe we’re being instructed not to be afraid to let others see God in our words and action and to always be open to hear God, either directly ourselves, or through the words and/or actions of others around us. While, in contrast, we must clear from our lives, anything that does not reflect God.

In summary The Way He Wants You To Live #4 – Let God shine in you, always be willing to hear God speaking to you and keep yourself true to God at all times.

The following video of Vicky Beeching singing the beautiful and moving song Listening completely fits with my thoughts today about how we need to listen to God speaking to us…

Today I’m continuing to looking at how, as Christians, we should live our lives. Once again using words from the bible for guidance.

The text for today is from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (The Message):

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

So we’ve to be cheerful all the time! Wow that’s going to be a tough call isn’t it!

Earlier this week in my two Healer of My Heart blog posts (Healer of My Heart #1 and Healer of My Heart #2) I mentioned some of the things that can happen in life, that make us struggle to cope sometimes. Based on the bible passage above, even in times of deep despair or depression when life really sucks, we’re supposed to “be cheerful”. How?

God never said life would be easy for any of us, but as a Christian I believe that whatever difficulties I may face in life, God is with me, and it’s therefore that knowledge that should enable me to “be cheerful no matter what”. I will be honest now and say that, just because I know God is with me in all situations I often still think I can do better on my own, and strangely enough, that’s when I find life gets me down and I’m not cheerful all the time!

Can I just remind you that, even though others may seem cheerful to you, you can never know for certain how they are really feeling and what problems they may be having to deal with in their life (see my blog post A Day In The Life Of…). Therefore as well as always being cheerful, we must also follow the instructions I passed to you yesterday in Get Along, Always.

In summary The Way He Wants You To Live #3 – no matter what life throws your way, be happy and pray.

Today I want to continue looking at how, as Christians, we should live our lives, using words from the bible for guidance.

The text I want to use today is from 1 Thessalonians 5:13-15 (The Message):

Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.

In the same way as I talking about how we must be supportive and encouraging towards our leaders/managers in yesterday’s blog post (Support Them, Always!), the same applies to our relationships with one another. i.e. We must try to always be loving and supportive of others.

God doesn’t expect us all to become the best of friends, but He does expect us to respect one another and support each other. Just because we don’t necessarily agree with someone’s viewpoint or perspective, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t love them and respect them. After all none of us are perfect, we all have our faults, we all have our good points and our bad points, but God love each one of us in spite of them!

If God can love each of us despite our faults, surely we must try our hardest to encourage one another, despite our religious, economic, political, environmental or physical differences. So reach out and help those around you, they need you, they need God.

In summary The Way He Wants You To Live #2 – get on with everyone you meet, support and encourage them at all times.

 
They Need Christ (John Gowans)
 
There are people living in the world out there…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
There are children crying and no one to care…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
And they’ll go on hurting in the world out there,
And they’ll go on dying, drowning in despair,
And they’ll go on crying, that’s unless we care:
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
 
There are people living who would rather die…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
And their Christian neighbours simply pass them by…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
There are people sitting by a silent phone,
People cold and hungry, people left alone,
Suicides for reasons that remain unknown:
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
 
There’s the prostitute and there’s the prisoner too…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
There’s the ‘skid row’ fella who has lost a shoe…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
The compulsive gambler dreaming of his yacht,
And the lad that’s stealing just to get his ‘shot’,
And the kid that’s pregnant and pretends she’s not:
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
 
There are runaways who want a place to go…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
There are alcoholics who don’t seem to know…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
There are God-less people who have lost their way,
And they need God’s love but they’re afraid to say.
If we close our eyes perhaps they’ll go away
Without you, without me, without Christ;
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.

Over the next few days I want to focus on how, as Christians, we should live our lives, using words from the bible for guidance.

The text I want to use today is from 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (The Message):

And now, friends, we ask you to honour those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!

It’s true isn’t that as soon as someone takes up a position of authority or management, they immediately become the target for criticism from all directions.

Why is that? Is it because we all think we could do a better job, or think the person in question isn’t qualified to hold the position in question? Whatever the reason, we must remind ourselves that no matter what our own personal feelings about the person in question, we must conduct ourselves in a Christian manner. i.e. we must be supportive and encouraging at all times.

That can be very tough at times! I can honestly say I fail miserably at this at times, just as I’m sure many of you do. It’s hard trying to always do the right thing isn’t it!

As far as our church leaders are concerned, whether they be our ministers, musical leaders, or others in official positions, we must all work together, supporting one another, and working for the common cause, God! Our Christian life and our church life shouldn’t be about personalities and individuals, it should be about spreading God’s message to the world, and we will never achieve that if we don’t work together for each other rather than against one another.

In summary The Way He Wants You To Live #1 – support your leaders and show them your appreciation for all they do.

 

What do you think of when you hear the word “worship”?

Church, praise meeting, singing…?

How about prayer? Does that strike you as being an act of worship?

At first when I getting my thoughts together for this blog post, I had to say I didn’t really think prayer was a true act of worship. However we’re reminded in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. (The Message)

God wants us to pray, to rejoice in Him and thank Him for all He does for us. By praying to God we are showing Him just how much we love and adore Him.

God tells us to “pray without ceasing”, but He doesn’t mean we should pray continually all the time, as that would be unachievable. However He does expect us to pray daily and thus worship Him on a daily basis.

Worship God today, pray!

We find out even more about God in each book of the new testament of the bible:

In Matthew, He is King of the Jews.
In Mark, He is the Servant.
In Luke, He is the Son of Man, feeling what you feel.
In John, He is the Son of God.
In Acts, He is Saviour of the world.
In Romans, He is the righteousness of God.
In 1 Corinthians, He is the rock that followed Israel.
In 2 Corinthians, He is the triumphant, victorious one.
In Galatians, He is your liberty … He sets you free.
In Ephesians, He is Head of the Church.
In Philippians, He is your joy.
In Colossians, He is your completeness.
In 1 Thessalonians, He is your hope.
In 2 Thessalonians, He is your patience and discipline.
In 1 Timothy, He is your faith.
In 2 Timothy, He is your stability.
In Titus, He is the truth.
In Philemon, He is your benefactor.
In Hebrews, He is your perfection.
In James, He is the power behind your faith.
In 1 Peter, He is your example.
In 2 Peter, He is your purity.
In 1 John, He is your life.
In 2 John, He is your pattern.
In 3 John, He is your motivation.
In Jude, He is the foundation of your faith.
In the Revelation, He is your coming King.

Following on from yesterday’s blog post Musical Emotions – Part 7, I felt today I needed to talk about how important it is to believe in the power of prayer.

Pray For Me by Michael W Smith

Here is where the road divides
Here is where we realize
The sculpting of the Father’s great design
Thru’ time you’ve been a friend to me
But time is now the enemy
I wish we didn’t have to say goodbye
And I know that thru’ it all
The hardest part of love is letting go
But there’s a greater love that holds us

Pray for me and I’ll pray for you
Pray that we will keep the common ground
Won’t you pray for me and I’ll pray for you
And one day love will bring us back around

Painted on our tapestry
We see the way it has to be
Weaving thru’ the laughter and the tears
But love will be the tie that binds us
To the time we leave behind us
Memories will be our souvenirs

Won’t you pray for me and I’ll pray for you
Pray that we will keep the common ground
Won’t you pray for me and I’ll pray for you
And one day love will bring us back around again

In yesterday’s blog I talked about how prayer got me through soe tough times – but those weren’t may own prayers because at that time I was unable to voice any prayers. Instead it was the prayers of my close friend and others around me that supported me through those tough times.

Prayer isn’t soemthing we should take for granted. I can say that in the knowledge that during the times I described in yesterday’s blog post, I couldn’t pray because I was hurting too much about too many things life had thrown my way, and that to be honest made me feel even worse. Why? Because prayer had always been such a huge part of my life, it was tough for me having that void that used to be filled with prayer.

Because I went through that time when I couldn’t pray, it had made me appreciate even more (if that’s possible) how important prayer should be to each one of us. The prayers other said for me during my tough times were answered because God got me through. I am confident that without those prayers I may not have got through that time.

What does prayer mean to you? The words of the following song, sum up perfectly what prayer means to me:

Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire
Uttered or unexpressed,
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.
 
Prayers is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of an eye
When none but God is near.
Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try;
Prayer the sublimest strains that reach
The majesty on high.
 
Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice
Returning from his ways,
While angels in their songs rejoice
And cry: Behold, he prays!
 
Prayer is the Christian‘s vital breath,
The Christian’s native air,
His watchword at the gates of death;
He enters Heaven with prayer.
 
O thou by whom we come to God,
The Life, the Truth, the Way!
The path of prayer thyself hast trod:
Lord, teach us how to pray!
James Montgomery