Summary: how can we rejoice always?
Many people make New Year’s Resolutions; making commitments to better themselves and for those around them. What do you think is the average percent success rate of actually accomplishing resolutions made??
A recent scientific study by the University of Scranton:
45% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions
Success Rate of those who made Resolutions – 8%
There can be many reasons for such a low success rate of those who make New Year’s Resolutions. How many of us desire to be successful in life?? We make New Year’s Resolutions to try and better our lives. I encourage you to have resolutions to better your life! But,
Let me suggest 3 important factors in being successful in life:
1. Don’t just make annual resolutions, Commit to a better life everyday!! Everyday, let’s tell ourselves “I’m going to do good today with my life!”
2. Commit to God’s instructions! Why should we commit to God’s instructions??
We are to commit to God’s instructions because:
God is our Creator and He knows exactly what we need!
God’s instructions are always right!
God will not ask us something we can not do!
3. Have a Faith Partner, who will challenge, encourage, and pray for you!
And so consider this everyday; When you’re ready for your day, rub your hands together till their warm, open them to the Lord and ask “What do you have in mind for me today Lord Jesus?”, and if you need to be encouraged, or you sense someone else needs encouragement, make a phone call and pray with someone!
For the next few weeks we will look at 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 and know, understand, and commit to the specific instructions from God. In preparation for Communion, I will highlight for this morning instructions appropriate for our celebration from 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28. Likely for 2 more weeks, we will look into detail the other instructions. We are to know, understand, and commit to these specific instructions from our Creator God. Read along with me the entire passage, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28…..
I’d like to hone in on one verse for this morning for Communion and we will come back to the passage next week.
v16: Be joyful always! Come on God, be joyful always? Can a person really be joyful always as God instructs in v16?
Remember that God will not ask us something we are not capable of doing! For just human beings rejoicing always is impossible, but with God, nothing is impossible! Let us also note that joy is not the same as happiness; happiness is dependent on worldly circumstances; joy is from God who is always there! God is good??.... All the time??... and so, we can rejoice all the time!
The proper way to understand a Bible verse is to pray, read it in context, and look at the original Greek writing, therefore looking at other English translations. And so, let us again pray shall we………..
Now, if we look at the original Greek writing and other English translations of v16, the general idea is all the same, Rejoice all the time!
But let us look at the context v16 is in? We have been talking about the timeframe of this letter to the Thessalonians. As we noted from the beginning of 1 Thessalonians 4 and beginning of Chapter 5, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ can show at any time now to perfect all His Believers for heaven. The Rapture, the catching up of all True Christians to the sky with Jesus, can happen at any moment! For True Christians it is right now a time to rejoice for Jesus will show up soon!
What else can we note in context of v16? What do we read in v17-18? Yes they are commands from God but they are also reasons to rejoice!
v17: Pray continually (on-going)!
What is worth rejoicing about this truth??
We can rejoice because we can talk to Almighty God always, ask, and He will answer perfectly!
Rejoicing and praying goes hand in hand; we rejoice and pray always! How can we do this in a practical basis? The answer is always Jesus Christ. Have Jesus Christ always in your thoughts and by your side! Talk to Jesus always and rejoice in what he has done, what He is doing, what He will do FOR YOU PERSONALLY!
v18: Give thanks in all circumstances! How can this be done??
We can always find something to be thankful for!
And, what do we note at the end of v18? Christians are in Christ! Christians are in God!
And what happens when you are in Christ? Look at v23 again with me…
Christians in Christ have peace, being sanctified (being changed to perfection), are completely blameless in spirit, soul, and body!
v24: Christian have a God who is faithful and will do what He promises!!