The Holy Bible (The Message – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22): 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. 19–22 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.
Thoughts: I know that the subject sounds inviting, but I want us to be reminded that ‘Joy’ results from a happy heart – a heart filled with love for the Lord and from a heart stayed on constant prayer before the Master of this universe. This scripture reminds us to thank God in ALL things, I believe that this will result in an everlasting ‘Joy’ to bless us every day. Friends, I want to encourage you to always find something to thank God for. You may have a broken arm, but praise to the Almighty, you have a healthy arm to enjoy and help you through your day! Just last night I heard a brother praise God for allowing him to serve in the military many years ago. In spite of many who may have been hurt through their service, he was able to find reasons to praise God for his time in the service. May I encourage you to find reasons to praise God every day? Please let there be a word of praise always present on your lips and in your heart, that you are ready to praise God for, and bless another person with! I found it interesting to also note Paul’s explanation that showing a heart of thanksgiving is actually a responsibility of the Christian, in other words, it pleases God! Paul went on to remind us that we are not to quench, or suppress the Holy Spirit. Friends let’s think of the Holy Spirit as being a fire that burns. Paul is telling us to be careful not to throw cold water on that fire. The work of God, and His Holy Spirit is of utmost importance in the life of a Christian. When we feel Him tugging at us to do a certain work, or teach a certain class, or give witness to a certain work that the Spirit has performed in our lives, we wind up quenching the Spirit if we don’t follow through with what we felt He was leading us to do. Now for those of us who are very gullible, Paul teaches that we test and examine what we believe that the Spirit is instructing us to do. My advice is to: 1). Test it against the Word of God. For if it is Biblical, then you can be assured that it is God’s will; 2). If another believer (proven to be genuine over time) shares with you something similar to what you felt God leading you to do, then I believe that God is reaffirming His word to you; and 3). If confirmation comes through a sermon, or a Bible reading, then I believe that this is another indicator from God to reaffirm His word to you. Paul teaches that we are to act on the proven, and throw out the rest. Friends, as we witness God at work in our lives, we can be filled with the joy of the Lord to a degree that others will also be blessed by our words and by our actions, all for the glory of the only Master – Jesus our Lord!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, our eternal Joy and Peace, my heart is filled to overflowing, knowing that in spite of my inadequacies and failures, yet the King of all kings loves me enough to bless me with pure, unadulterated love and joy! I am eternally thankful for this! I pray that as You bless me with these qualities, that I will be a conduit for others to receive that same joy, and that they will search for a closer walk with You. For my family and friends that do not know You, I pray that this everlasting joy in me will be so evident to them that they will have a deep desire to know my Savior. Please use this devotional to bless the hearts of those who struggle to find joy every day, for I believe that it becomes extremely challenging for a non-believer to see Jesus in the life of one who claims Him, but displays no evidence of the joy that relationship brings. Bless us today in ways that will force us to rejoice in You, and express that joy to others who need it! I ask all this in the precious and holy name of Jesus, my Lord, with thanksgiving, 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!