VIDEO Always Thankful, Thankful For Everything,

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

We often hear people say, “The devil is in the details.” They don’t mean anything theological by that—they simply mean that bad things can happen if we don’t read the fine print, ask the right questions, and check every detail. There is something theological about this statement though: “God is in the details”—especially the details of His divinely-inspired Word.

For example, in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Paul writes the word “in” instead of the word “for”: “In everything give thanks.” What would the difference be? If we were told to give thanks “for” everything, it could include thanking God for tragedies and disasters in which death and destruction reigned. But “in” everything—even in the midst of tragedies and disasters—we can thank God that He is in the midst of the storm with us. We can thank Him that He will use all things—good and bad, hard and easy—for good to those who love God and are “called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

What are you “in” today? Regardless of where you are and what you are experiencing, give thanks “in everything” as a way to acknowledge God’s presence.

God’s giving deserves our thanksgiving.  Unknown


Thankful For Everything, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study

Carefully Crafted

Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people. Ephesians 4:11–12

In a YouTube video, Alan Glustoff, a cheese farmer in Goshen, New York, described his process for aging cheese, a process that adds to a cheese’s flavor and texture. Before it can be sent out to a market, each block of cheese remains on a shelf in an underground cave for six to twelve months. In this humid environment the cheese is carefully tended. “We do our best to give it the right environment to thrive . . . [and] to develop to its truest potential,” Glustoff explained.

Glustoff’s passion for developing the potential of the cheese he produces reminded me of God’s passion for developing the “truest potential” of His children so they will become fruitful and mature. In Ephesians 4, the apostle Paul describes the people involved in this process: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers (v. 11). People with these gifts help to stimulate the growth of each believer as well as to encourage acts of service (the “works” mentioned in verse 12). The goal is that we “become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (v. 13).

Spiritual growth comes about through the power of the Holy Spirit as we submit to His maturing process. As we follow the guidance of the people He places in our lives, we become more effective as He sends us out to serve.

By: Linda Washington

Reflect & Pray

Who has been most influential to your spiritual growth? In what ways have you been challenged to grow? How can you encourage the growth of someone else?

Loving God, I’m grateful for the tender way You help me to grow.

Clinging to God’s Promises

Luke 24:13-49

The Bible is a gold mine of promises for believers. During any season, but especially in hard times, God’s promises provide an anchor for our soul. They give us hope and enable us to be courageous and bold when facing challenges.

But many individuals do not rely on God’s assurances. There are two reasons for this. First, some people are unaware of His promises. Second, others simply do not believe them to be true. A lot of believers can quote Scripture, but when they face a daunting trial—like a job loss or frightening diagnosis—their confidence wavers and doubt prevails.

If we are unaware of all that Scripture promises, we can’t make ourselves believe. But the more we learn and pray and talk with God, the stronger our faith grows, and this is a gift from almighty God. Luke 24 documents two times that people came face to face with Jesus Christ but failed to recognize Him. He had to open their spiritual eyes before they could truly see. The same is true of us: Faith is impossible without the Holy Spirit.

Jesus gives believers assurance of protection, hope, eternal security, counsel, and guidance in the Scriptures. Do you trust Him?

As you read Scripture, ask the Holy Spirit to point out applicable promises for your life. Study, memorize, meditate on, and claim these truths. Then, when trials arise, you’ll have an anchor to keep you steady. Divine promises won’t necessarily take away the pain of difficult circumstances, but the God who has promised to be with you can be trusted to do all He says He’ll do.

Heed Five Commands

“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13)

In our text and the succeeding two verses, five commands are given to the believer striving to live a godly life. Let us look briefly at each one.

Gird up the loins of your mind: Using the long, flowing robes worn by most people in Greek societies as a word picture, Peter commands us to gird up our minds just as such a robe needed to be gathered up in preparation for strenuous activity. We need to discipline our minds for action.

Be sober: A drunken person has a disoriented mind, lacks self-control, and is not alert to his surroundings. We are commanded to maintain a calm and thoughtful state of mind, in full control of all our actions.

Hope to the end, or “patiently fix your hope”: We must recognize that He is in control and patiently wait for Him. The focus of our expectation is His grace, which we presently experience but which will be fully granted us at His return.

Not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance (v. 14): This phrase is translated “be not conformed” in Romans 12:2 and commands us not to adopt the world’s lifestyle and thought patterns, especially our “former lusts,” that enslaved us before our conversion.

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy (v. 15): God is first and foremost a holy God, and we are called to “fashion” ourselves after Him. Complete holiness is out of our reach this side of glory, but it should be our goal.

All five are commands indeed, but commands three and five are in an emphatic position in the Greek, and these two hold the key to success in the others. Only by patiently fixing our hope on Him and His grace can we successfully strive for His holiness. JDM

A Cleansed Conscience

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

—Hebrews 10:22

What a relief to find the writer to the Hebrews encouraging us to “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience” (Hebrews 10:22).

A sprinkled conscience—surely this is a gracious thing for men and women in the world to know!

One of the most relieving, enriching, wholesome, wondrous things we can know is that sudden sense of the lifting of the burden as the conscience goes free—God giving freedom to that conscience which has been evil, diseased and protesting.

Peter wrote about this and called it “the answer of a good conscience toward God, [saves us] by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21).

This is the kind of conversion I believe in—when your sins are cleansed and forgiven through the blood of the Lamb, you will know it!…

A transaction has taken place within the human spirit. The heart suddenly knows itself clean and the burden lifts from the mind and there is a true sense that heaven is pleased and God is smiling and the sins are gone.   EFE065-066

Lord, I fall on my face before You in heartfelt worship. Amen.

 

He saith unto them, Follow me…

He saith unto them, Follow me… and they straightway left their nets, and followed Him.—Matthew 4:19, 20.

 

Jesus calls us, o’er the tumult

Of our life’s wild, restless sea,

Day by day His sweet voice soundeth,

Saying, “Christian, follow me,”

As of old St. Andrew heard it

By the Galilean lake,

Turned from home, and toil, and kindred,

Leaving all for His dear sake.

Cecil F. Alexander.

 

The will of God will be done; but, oh, the unspeakable loss for us if we have missed our opportunity of doing it!

Brooke Foss Westcott.

 

God, who calleth us, Himself gives us the-strength to obey His call. He who is with us now to call us, will be ever present with us; in all whereto He calleth us. All in His purpose and love, every degree of grace and glory, lies wrapped up in His next call. All eternity of bliss and the love of God will, through His grace, forecoming, accompanying, following, lie in one strong, earnest, undivided, giving of thy whole self to God, to do in thee, through thee, with thee, His gracious loving will.

Edward B. Pusey.

 

God Is On the Front Line With Us

“The Lord, he is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” Deut. 31:8

In the presence of a great work or a great warfare, here is a text which should help us to buckle on our harness. If Jehovah Himself goes before us, it must be safe to follow. Who can obstruct our progress if the Lord Himself is in the van? Come, brother soldiers, let us make a prompt advance! Why do we hesitate to pass on to victory?

Nor is the Lord before us only; He is with us. Above, beneath, around, within is the omnipotent, omnipresent One. In all time, even to eternity, He will be with us even as He has been. How this should nerve our arm! Dash at it boldly, ye soldiers of the cross, for the Lord of hosts is with us!

Being before us and with us, He will never withdraw His help. He cannot fail in Himself, and He will not fail toward us. He will continue to help us according to our need, even to the end. As He cannot fail us, so He will not forsake us. He will always be both able and willing to grant us strength and succor till fighting days are gone.

Let us not fear nor be dismayed; for the Lord of hosts will go down to the battle with us, will bear the brunt of the fight, and give us the victory.