1 Thessalonians 5:12-18

            The Apostle Paul came to the conclusion of his letter to a discouraged congregation at Thessalonica and, like a parent barking final instructions to the kids as they go out the door, gave them a series of short exhortations so they would be careful to keep their minds on living their Christian lives with focus and intentionality.

            Paul succinctly made it quite clear what the will of God is for the church.  Rather than sitting idle and waiting for Christ to return, believers are to be busy doing good to one another, encouraging each other, and listening well to their spiritual leaders.  As for our relationship with God we are to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  If we were to simply focus on those three short commands of Scripture it would completely alter the spiritual landscape of our lives and our churches.

            Historically, believers throughout the ages have obeyed these commands by keeping the Daily Office of pausing at set times during the day to offer thanksgiving and prayer.  Falling to our knees when arising from bed; break times at work; a few minutes at lunch; family devotions at supper; and, prayer with a spouse before retiring at night are all potential opportunities to build a rich inner life of spirituality to our souls and fortify us to have a joyous relationship with Jesus that lasts a lifetime.  If actually scheduling these times in our calendars and planners will help us to remember and do it, then let us be about the business of having appointments with God without procrastination.

            Lord God Almighty, thank you for the privilege of prayer and the perspective of giving thanks in each situation I am faced with every day.  Help me to effectively and joyously connect with you today so that your will is done in my life, just as your will is always done in heaven.  Through Jesus my Lord, Amen.

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