“I Thank My God Through Jesus Christ For You”

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess 5:16-17)

I have been amazed over the years at the “commercialization” of the holiday season. When I was younger Black Friday began on Friday morning at the early hours of 5am. As time moves forward that time moved back to 3am, then midnight, Thursday night at 9pm, and now Thursday at 6pm. The idea that most will leave their Thanksgiving time to shop seems to have taken a strong hold in our nation, and it works! Retailers by the thousands will open their doors Thursday evening for one of the biggest 24 period of sales during the year. We are to be good stewards of the monies God provides (Romans 13:8), and there is nothing wrong with looking for the absolute best deal around. But society has lost a wonderful lesson in taking a day to be thankful for the things we have.

When Paul writes to the church at Thessalonica he is very aware of the circumstances surrounding the church. These brethren were in the city where the Jews formed a mob looking for Paul and Silas because they preached the gospel (Acts 17:5). The same city where Jason was dragged from his home and dragged before the city authorities and eventually robbed because the “mob” believed Paul and Silas stayed with him (Acts 17:6). Thessalonica is the city the Apostles “turned upside down” (Acts 17:6). This is a city that did not readily receive the word of God (Acts 17:11).

The church at Thessalonica was surrounded by “hostile circumstances”, in many respects the same as Christianity is today in America and much of the world. In all of this Paul reminds those in the first century, and us today of three simple things:

  • Rejoice always (1 Thess 5:16) – Despite the circumstances they were in. Paul wanted, and God wanted the church at Thessalonica, and the church today to “rejoice”. Rejoicing means to show great delight or to have great joy. We can rejoice today knowing the same God that was with the Christians in the first century in Thessalonica is standing behind each and every faithful Christian today, regardless of our circumstances.
  • Pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17): – Prayer is one of the most underused aspects of many Christians. God longs to hear our prayers, the Psalmist said they are like incense coming before God (Psalm 141:2). Even in the circumstances that the church was in God wanted them to be prayerful. May we all be prayerful in our lives both in the good and more difficult times.

“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”. While God desires that the church have an attitude of delight even in the toughest circumstances, and although God wanted the church to have an attitude of prayer, Paul says it is the will of God that Christians give thanks in everything. While it may be difficult to be thankful for ill health, or financial problems, there is always something to be thankful for. Even those things we find difficult to be thankful for God has the ability and is using for our benefit while we are faithful (2 Cor 4:17).

I hope your thanksgiving was full of food, and family, and maybe even some football. But I pray that we will be thankful more than on “thanksgiving” day. Let’s give thanks to God in each and every circumstance of our lives!

Ande Z

Activities:
December 06 2015 – Registration for CYC – $35 DEPOSIT due, Balance due 01/06/2015
December 8th and 22nd – Devo @ Ande Z’s (Tacky Sweaters on December 22nd)
December 13th – Little ones to stay after services for activities!