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Summary: What is God's will for every Christian?

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As we close this year and look forward to a new year, I would like us to think about the 7 P’s for the Christian life for the next 2 Sundays. If you recall from past messages, the 7 P’s for the Christian life are: Pray, Plan, Pray, Prioritize, Pray, Proceed, Praise! Next week we will focus on Planning, Prioritizing, and Proceeding. Today we will focus on Praise. Praise actually include rejoicing and giving thanks.

Our Bible passage for today is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18….. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Ever wonder what God’s will is for you? It is pretty simple isn’t it? God’s will for each one of us (i.e. His desire for us) is to always rejoice, pray, and give thanks!

To make sure we are understanding this passage in context, let us read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-18….

And so, the beginning of 1 Thessalonians 5 refers to the Rapture in Chapter 4.

v1-3: refers to the Return of Jesus Christ to earth for the Rapture and God’s judging of every person living or dead

Jesus Christ will return to earth soon; this time not as a baby but King of Kings and Lord of lords! God Jesus Christ is coming for all of us soon! The Rapture, Jesus Christ taking to heaven all Believers both alive and dead, will happen at any time now! This is the time we are living in now!

Now, the rapture has not happened yet right? – otherwise, the world would have noted it and you and I, Believers of Christ, are still here. If the rapture has not happened yet but will happen soon, all the truths in 1 Thessalonians 5:4 to the end of the chapter applies to us today! And so we note…

v4: the appearance of Christ should not surprise us. Are we really looking forward to seeing Jesus? i.e. Everyday, do we say to ourselves “Jesus can show up today and take me to heaven!” Simply, we need to think about Jesus Christ everyday!”

v5-11: Christians are children of the light and of the day! We are not to live in the darkness (we are nopt to hide from God)!

- We are to be awake and sober (do not be drunk with “wine” but be filled with the Holy spirit! Sadly, many Christians get drunk on New Years Eve.

- Put on the full armor of God

- Live together in Christ (encouraging one another, fight the good fight of faith together)

And so, how do we live in the light?

v12-15: always strive to do what is good for each other (how often do we really think and pray for each other?)

v16: rejoice always – how do we do this in a practical way??

Confess sins and yield to the Holy Spirit!

v17: pray continually - how do we do this in a practical way??

Always share your thoughts with the Triune God!

And finally, a simple direct command in v18, give thanks in all circumstances!

Take a moment to quietly pray about these things; then before we pray for our Offerings, let us publicly proclaim our praises and thanks to God…. Take a moment to quietly pray…

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