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1 Thessalonians

When four-year-old Sammy awoke after surgery, the nurse explained that it would be necessary for him to be fed intravenously for the next few days.
After assuring him that everything would be fine, she began the process to administer the glucose. Always in the habit of giving thanks before each meal, Sammy asked in a brave and cheerful voice, “Aren’t you going to give thanks?”
It is not easy to give thanks in painful situations. Nor is it natural to see God’s goodness in all of life’s trials and troubles. But the Apostle Paul reminds us to “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
When we give thanks, we acknowledge our confidence in the Lord, knowing that He cares for us. When we give thanks, we express our closeness to God, realizing that He is with us in every situation. When we give thanks, we declare that we are willing to accept the wisdom of God knowing that His will is being done.
Prayer: Dear Lord, may I learn the grace of giving thanks to You in all of life’s situations. Help me to realize that You are always with me, watching, protecting, providing and guiding me in every area of life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Joseph Priestly left college believing he was called to serve God as a minister. However, he soon became uncomfortable with this calling and decided to teach school. One day Benjamin Franklin visited his classroom and was very impressed with his teaching skills. At the conclusion of the class he said to Priestly, “I believe that you have the abilities to write a history of electricity. I’ll help you by lending you my books and notes.”
Encouraged by the generosity of Mr. Franklin, he accepted the challenge and immediately began writing a book on the history of electricity. He was so enthusiastic and excited about this project that he researched and wrote the entire book in one year. This inspired him to dedicate his life to scientific research. His research led him to the discovery of oxygen. He is also credited with developing the first carbon dioxide fire extinguisher. All because of the encouraging words of Franklin.
Paul recognized the important role of encouraging others. In his letter to the Thessalonians he encouraged them to “encourage each other and build each other up!”
At the end of a long race the runners often speak of muscles that are cramping or throats that are parched and burning as their body is about to collapse. But then the crowd begins to shout, “You can do it – keep it up – you are going to make it!” Those few words of encouragement are all they need to finish well. Be an encourager today.
Prayer: Help us, Heavenly Father, to be alert to those around us who need a word of strength, hope or love to persevere in the face of adversity. Make us Your encouragers. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
A company was well known for its highly effective sales personnel. They were able to outperform all of their competitors by their volume of sales, the new customers they attracted and the loyalty of their old ones.
Once, during an interview, a professor asked the personnel director what he did to attract so many outstanding people to his company. After thinking for a moment he replied, “We give them a water test.”
The professor was surprised. He thought he knew of every pre-employment test available. So he asked, “What is the water test?”
“Well,” he responded, “before we hire anyone, we take them into a room where the faucet is running, the sink is overflowing and water is pouring onto the floor. We offer the person a mop and say ‘Mop up the water.’ If they begin to mop up the water without turning off the faucet, we know they are poor problem solvers and decision makers and they would not be good employees. So, we don’t hire them.”
Too often Christians try to “clean” up their lives without turning “off” old habits and behaviors that lead to sin. If we want to become who God wants us to become, we must turn away from every temptation that can distract, defeat and destroy us. We can solve the problem of sinning by deciding to keep away from evil.
Prayer: We look to You, Heavenly Father, for insight and guidance as we face the difficult choices of life. May we always recognize our need for Your wisdom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Thessalonians 5:22 Reject every kind of evil.
When four-year-old Sammy awoke after surgery, the nurse explained that it would be necessary for him to be fed intravenously for the next few days.
After assuring him that everything would be fine, she began the process to administer the glucose. Always in the habit of giving thanks before each meal, Sammy asked in a brave and cheerful voice, “Aren’t you going to give thanks?”
It is not easy to give thanks in painful situations. Nor is it natural to see God’s goodness in all of life’s trials and troubles. But the Apostle Paul reminds us to “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
When we give thanks, we acknowledge our confidence in the Lord, knowing that He cares for us. When we give thanks, we express our closeness to God, realizing that He is with us in every situation. When we give thanks, we declare that we are willing to accept the counsel of God knowing that His will is being done.
Prayer: Dear Lord, may I learn the grace of giving thanks to You in all of life’s situations. Help me to realize that You are always with me, watching, protecting, providing and guiding me in every area of life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-23 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus…
Grover Cleveland Alexander is recognized as one of the greatest baseball pitchers of all time. His record of ninety shutouts still stands and his 373 recorded victories has been achieved by only one other pitcher. In 1938 he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
From his earliest days on the farm his only desire was to play baseball and be a pitcher. He actually began his career by throwing apples and stones at fence posts between chores to sharpen his throwing skills.
One day he bought a few baseballs and nailed an old catcher’s mitt to the chicken coop. He would spend every available moment throwing baseballs at the mitt and finally became successful at hitting the mitt nine times out of ten.
During his pitching career reporters piled heaps of praise on him as his record grew and fame spread. But none of them were ever aware of the many hours he practiced with no one watching or helping him develop the skills that would eventually bring him world recognition.
Fame never comes unless one is willing to pay the price it requires. Hard work is God’s plan for all of us. Those who work diligently are the recipients of many benefits in their own lives and the lives of others. God blesses those who develop the skills He gives them.
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to take the gifts You give us with great humility and work with all of our might to develop them to bring honor and glory to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
It was a devastating shipwreck. Only one man survived by clinging to a piece of the ship that floated to the shore of a desolate island. In order to survive, he built a hut with the leaves of palm trees and wood he was able to find.
One morning he went out searching for food when he saw clouds of smoke arising from the location of his hut. Hurriedly he ran to his dwelling only to find that it had been consumed by fire.
That night he slept little. When he awakened the following morning, he was amazed to find a ship anchored off shore. As he stood looking in disbelief, he noticed that the ship was lowering a small life boat. As it came to shore one of the sailors said, “We saw your smoke signal and wondered if everything was OK.” After he told them what happened, they took him back to the ship and eventually he returned to his family.
Scripture tells us to “Always be joyful. Never stop praying.” Situations may change but our God does not. While it is normal and natural for our emotions to change when our circumstances change, we must always turn to the Lord, believing that He will rescue us from the difficulties and dangers of life.
Prayer: We know, Lord, that You will never leave us or forsake us no matter how desperate we may be. Give us the faith to trust You completely. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
It was the rush hour in New York. People leaving work were anxious to get home – pushing, shoving, and glaring angrily at those not walking fast enough. The crowd seemed intent on getting where they were going with no one being concerned for the safety of others.
In the midst of it all was one man singing as loudly as he could. Sitting in a wheelchair, he was pushing himself along with his arms, being careful to avoid bumping or running into anyone.
A man, who had been walking alongside him, touched him gently on the arm. “Tell me, sir, you have been making your way through this crowd for quite some time. You have been singing loudly and smiling graciously. You have no legs, you have to push yourself in an old wheelchair, and yet you appear happy and joyful. How do you do it?”
Looking the stranger in the eye, the wheelchair-bound man said, “When I stopped looking at what I had lost, and began looking at what I had left, I realized that I still had my voice and could sing again.”
As Christians, we must realize that God will, if we allow Him, bring us His joy even in times of grief, pain and loss.
Prayer: Lord, even in sickness and suffering, may we sense Your peace and presence and give You thanks. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Thessalonians 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

A small boy got into a fight with the school’s well-known bully. He was getting the best of the bully and was sitting on top of him when, suddenly, he began to call for help.
“Why should we help?” came the response from a friend standing nearby.
“I can feel him starting to get up and he might win the fight!” was the quick answer.
So it is in the fight against temptation and sin. We are in a constant battle to overcome the strength and power of Satan. He is always there waiting to attack us and wanting to get us involved in a contest where he has the upper hand.
As Christians, we must always be aware of the fact that we cannot avoid being confronted by Satan and challenged to sin. We should always be vigilant to be victorious. We know the “schoolyard bully” by the way he looks and how he acts. But most often, the temptations we face are not obvious until after the fight begins.
We live in a sinful world. Our minds and hearts have been numbed by the things we see, the words we read, and the stories we hear. We must be careful to be on guard at all times by avoiding tempting situations. We must be aware of our playgrounds, playthings and playmates.
Prayer: Father, may we recognize that through You we can overcome sin by following and obeying Your Word. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
When four-year-old Sammy awoke after surgery, the nurse explained that it would be necessary for him to be fed intravenously for the next few days.
After assuring him that everything would be fine, she began the process to administer the glucose. Always in the habit of giving thanks before each meal, Sammy asked in a brave and cheerful voice, “Aren’t you going to give thanks?”
It is not easy to give thanks in painful situations. Nor is it natural to see God’s goodness in all of life’s trials and troubles. But the Apostle Paul reminds us to “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
When we give thanks, we acknowledge our confidence in the Lord, knowing that He cares for us. When we give thanks, we express our closeness to God, realizing that He is with us in every situation. When we give thanks, we declare that we are willing to accept the plan of God knowing that His will is being done.
Prayer: Dear Lord, may I learn the grace of giving thanks to You in all of life’s situations. Help me to realize that You are always with me, watching, protecting, providing and guiding me in every area of life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-23 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing,  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
In 1918 a salesman traveling from door to door selling “foot scrappers" stopped at the door of Eric Enstrom, a Minnesota photographer. He looked into the eyes of the salesman and noticed their kindness and was so impressed by the gentleness of the man that he invited him in to eat.
"Come in,” said Enstrom, "I'm ready to sit down to dinner. Join me." As he walked to the table, an idea struck the photographer. He asked, "Will you please pose for a picture for me?"
"Yes," answered the salesman and sat down at the table. There was a pair of glasses on a Bible, a bowl of food and a piece of bread. "Would you please bow your head," and as he did, the peddler, without giving thought to what he was doing, immediately began to thank God for what he had been given.
The photograph was taken in 1918 during World War I. Enstrom said he wanted to take the picture to remind people that even though they had to do without many things, they still had much to be thankful for. Enstrom wrote "Though poor in earthly goods he has more than most." He called the picture Grace.
Prayer: Help us, Father, to always be thankful for all that we have because of Your goodness and grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

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