Be Thankful

It seems unfortunate that we tend to bash someone and find fault with everything they do, rather than concentrating on their good points and positive results. I like the way that Paul shares in these verses that it is our ‘duty’ to God. As we meditate today, let us examine where Paul may have been coming from in this statement of thanksgiving.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-08-21
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: Dear brothers, giving thanks to God for you is not only the right thing to do, but it is our duty to God because of the really wonderful way your faith has grown and because of your growing love for each other. We are happy to tell other churches about your patience and complete faith in God, in spite of all the crushing troubles and hardships you are going through.

OBSERVATION: It seems unfortunate that we tend to bash someone and find fault with everything they do, rather than concentrating on their good points and positive results. I like the way that Paul shares in these verses that it is our ‘duty’ to God. As we meditate today, let us examine where Paul may have been coming from in this statement of thanksgiving.

APPLICATION: Ever heard someone say that they may as well do a certain evil, because that’s all that friends ever notice anyway? That’s a sad statement, because it paints a picture of who we truly have become. But why exactly did Paul see such importance in this point of thanksgiving? First of all, if Paul and his co-laborers were praying for God to move in the lives of the church, and cause them to have more faith in Him, so that they may show more love towards one another, don’t you suppose that they would be overjoyed to see the results of their prayers? I believe their hearts would be overjoyed and therefore very thankful. So this makes me question whether we take time to pray for those fellow Christians who always seem to lead the pack in causing trouble in the church. Are they such trouble makers that we tend to think they are beyond God’s help? Or is it that we find a certain amount of joy in putting others down? I trust that it is not the latter. Secondly, wouldn’t it be good practice to always give thanks when we see God at work in our midst? Whether He answers our prayer and convicts the sinner, or simply reenergize the hope that lies inside of the Christian, it is always a joy to see our God at work in our midst! Thirdly, when we know that a people is down and out, burdened by something that has happened to them, we tend to know what to expect – crying; discouragement; bitterness; hopelessness; etc. However, when we recognize just the opposite in attitudes and reactions to life, we should be energized to give thanks for what must be the miracle working God at work in their midst. You see, it is very easy for us to celebrate God when everything is going better than we deserve, but it’s an even greater joy to give thanks when we see Christians celebrating in the midst of their storm, for they are proving to us the One in whom they have placed their faith, their strength and their hope, is far greater than he that is in the world. So friends, please help me as we all try to do like Paul, in giving thanks for our respective churches, no matter what they are struggling with at this time. Let’s be willing to see the hand of God at work, even if it is in unexpected ways and quite different to anything we would ever do. Praise God, He knows our heart and He blesses and provides a way for those who truly love and obey Him, regardless of what we might see wrong with the picture.

PRAYER: You saw enough good in us that You sacrificed Your one and only Son on the cross at Calvary, dear Lord, so that we might have a chance at eternal life with You in Glory. It wasn’t something we deserved, or something we achieved in order to be forgiven, but solely because of Your love for us. Thank You, thank You, thank You dear Lord for looking down on us in mercy and through Your grace. Seeing that our desire is to be just like You, I pray that You will help us to evaluate and correct our ways, especially when it comes to relationships with others. Please help us to put aside our critical spirit, and instead look at others in love. Help us to automatically love others, just like You first loved us. Oh that we may share our hearts with them in love, so that You may be glorified. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would encourage you to visit my home church, Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

A More Fulfilled Life!

The Holy Bible

15 So be very careful how you live. Do not live like those who are not wise, but live wisely. 16 Use every chance you have for doing good, because these are evil times. 17 So do not be foolish but learn what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Do not be drunk with wine, which will ruin you, but be filled with the Spirit. 19 Speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord. 20 Always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(Bible Translation and Location: New Century Version – Ephesians 5:15-20)

Thoughts:

I believe that most of us would agree that our lives are more fulfilled when we feel good about something we have done, or when we receive compliments about something we have done. I don’t believe this is selfish pride, but rather, it helps us to know that our time here on earth has not been in vain. To achieve this fulfillment in the way God ordained, we are given some tips by Paul in these verses, for we are taught to:

  1. Be careful how we live – I believe this can also be interpreted to live your life intentionally. Don’t just let it happen. Think about it, we would never intentionally plan for failure. However, if we don’t plan for success, guess what will probably result? Based on all of the verses, I believe we are being taught to carefully plan our lives based on God’s will for our lives. So let’s constantly be in the Word so that we might carefully seek His perfect will;
  2. Do good at every opportunity – yes even amidst the darkness and evil around us. We are called to be children of Light, and to be that ‘light’ we must be totally opposite from the evil and darkness. With God’s help, we can be just that.
  3. Learn what God wants you to do – another Bible verse says that we are to ‘seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you’. When we just let life happen, we live by the influences of the world (Satan), so it is impossible for us to live any differently to the rest of the world. Let’s seek God daily and learn to wait on Him for what we should do, for His will is perfect!
  4. Be filled with the Spirit – When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, He gives us the Comforter, His Holy Spirit, to live inside us. Each day we become stained with the effects of sin that is so prevalent everywhere we go, so let’s plead with God to refill us each day so that we might be ready to protect ourselves from the evil one. With God’s Holy Spirit active inside of us, and us being personally ready to listen to, and obey Him, we can face this world and overcome its evil desires;
  5. Replace gossip with praise and worship – This not only gives the world insight into who’s inside of us, but it also centers our lives on Jesus, instead of the ill that comes from gossiping about each other. This is a very positive change for us that will bless our heart!
  6. Always give thanks – not just at Thanksgiving, but daily look for things to give God praise and thanksgiving for. You may not be able to ignore the painful left arm, but you can praise Him with your right arm! Get the drift? Find things to praise God for, because things could always be worse, just look at those around you!

There was an old saying: ‘If it’s to be, it’s up to me’! With God’s help, we can make this old saying a reality friend! Commit to living a life filled with the Holy Spirit!

Prayer:

Lord, there is so much that we can whine and complain about, but there is so much more for the Christian who committed their life to You and who requests a ‘top-off’ of Your Holy Spirit each day, for greater is He that is in us than he who is in this world! You are my King, and I humbly ask that You fill, and refill me each day with Your awesome Holy Spirit so that I may have strength, boldness and confidence to be a child of Light to those around me who are so steeped in the darkness of sin and its master, Satan. I also plead that You might influence each reader today to commit in a similar way. We cannot live the life You intended for us to live, without You being in charge. May we be open to Your leading today, is my humble plea oh Lord, that I ask in Your precious and holy name, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!