LOVING DILIGENCE

Thessalonians – Hope
 
The first church Randy pastored after leaving full time teaching was in Oklahoma. This church was located on the border of Oklahoma City, Spencer and Midwest City, so the highway that ran parallel to our church was greatly traveled. Being highly visible to this busy road brought many who needed help to get from point A to point B, “find work in another town”, “need new tires to get down the road”, “need food for my family”, and “need money so I can get to California”. Many came knocking at the door with all kinds of stories.
 
2 Thessalonians 3 work for food
Randy stopped giving money early on in this ministry because he quickly became a target for freeloaders. With wisdom of God’s Holy Spirit, God used Randy’s gift as a teacher to show the needy how to solve their problems. He stopped giving money and showed them how to fix a tire at the local tire and junk yard, how to buy enough groceries to go farther and still be healthy, and generally how to use what they already have to get where they are going.
 
I think of those days as I read the last passage of our study of Thessalonians. Paul writes to this loving group of people with a warning about placating to freeloaders in the church. When we pool our resources, there will always be someone who sits back with excuses of why they cannot do the work and/or bring in resources. Instead of being resentful towards them, Paul tells us to lovingly sit them down and “talk to them as someone who cares.” We do not help the needy with handouts. We help them with reaching our hand out with a hand up.
 
Our local rescue mission is driven by “Real Change, not spare change”. The devoted and dedicated leader of God readily speaks the message of Paul tenaciously. Don’t hand out money, bring them to the mission where we will guide them to God, find work for them to do and teach them how to manage as good stewards. This is what Paul is talking about when he says to lovingly sit the needy down and really care about them.
 
Handing out money consistently does not help those who fall into depending solely on hand outs. Don’t look away but care enough to point them to real change.
 
Does this happen in the church? Yes. “You can feed a man a fish and feed him for only a day. Teach him how to fish and you have fed him forever.” Care enough to take the time to teach. Is it easier to just hand out money and walk away? Yes…but it seems this is not God’s way.
 
2 Thessalonians 3, The Message
 
Those Who Are Lazy
1-3 One more thing, friends: Pray for us. Pray that the Master’s Word will simply take off and race through the country to a groundswell of response, just as it did among you. And pray that we’ll be rescued from these scoundrels who are trying to do us in. I’m finding that not all “believers” are believers. But the Master never lets us down. He’ll stick by you and protect you from evil.
 
4-5 Because of the Master, we have great confidence in you. We know you’re doing everything we told you and will continue doing it. May the Master take you by the hand and lead you along the path of God’s love and Christ’s endurance.
 
6-9 Our orders—backed up by the Master, Jesus—are to refuse to have anything to do with those among you who are lazy and refuse to work the way we taught you. Don’t permit them to freeload on the rest. We showed you how to pull your weight when we were with you, so get on with it. We didn’t sit around on our hands expecting others to take care of us. In fact, we worked our fingers to the bone, up half the night moonlighting so you wouldn’t be burdened with taking care of us. And it wasn’t because we didn’t have a right to your support; we did. We simply wanted to provide an example of diligence, hoping it would prove contagious.
 
2 Thessalonians 3 lazy10-13 Don’t you remember the rule we had when we lived with you? “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” And now we’re getting reports that a bunch of lazy good-for-nothings are taking advantage of you. This must not be tolerated. We command them to get to work immediately—no excuses, no arguments—and earn their own keep. Friends, don’t slack off in doing your duty.
 
14-15 If anyone refuses to obey our clear command written in this letter, don’t let him get by with it. Point out such a person and refuse to subsidize his freeloading. Maybe then he’ll think twice. But don’t treat him as an enemy. Sit him down and talk about the problem as someone who cares.
 
16 May the Master of Peace himself give you the gift of getting along with each other at all times, in all ways. May the Master be truly among you!
 
17 I, Paul, bid you good-bye in my own handwriting. I do this in all my letters, so examine my signature as proof that the letter is genuine.
 
18 The incredible grace of our Master, Jesus Christ, be with all of you!
 
2 Thessalonians 3 finish lineWhat do we learn?
–Freeloading is not permitted.  Permitting freeloading hurts them more than you.
–Care enough to teach others what they CAN do to help instead of letting people slide by who concentrate only on what they can’t do. Everyone can do something to help themselves and others.
–Love enough to lead them to Christ who saves us, leads us to God’s best and strengthens all of us with every step we take toward the Almighty Father.
–Leaders lead by example.
 
Dear Heavenly Father,
Makes holy and worthy of our calling to help others find and follow you. Give us wisdom, insight and understanding so that we might live our lives in the most excellent way, full of Your love and care for each other on this brief journey on earth. Continue to transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen
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GET A GRIP!

Thessalonians – Hope
 
2 Thessalonians 2 jumping to conclusionsWe are Olympic style high jumpers when it comes to jumping to conclusions about people, in situations that haven’t happened and with circumstantial life in general. We also assume calamity that may never happen. We worry about what others think of us to the point of working too hard to be accepted by them. We fall back to being and behaving like the world because that is the easier road to take. At times we will even consider and believe false reports of when Jesus will come back.
 
It happened to the early churches and it happens now. Paul says, “Get a grip!” You were chosen by God to live for God with the power of Christ in us and His Holy Spirit guiding us! So stand firm! He reminds them, “Friends, read these next words carefully. Slow down and don’t go jumping to conclusions regarding the day when our Master, Jesus Christ, will come and we assemble to welcome Him.” “Don’t let anyone shake you up…”
 
We all need to slow down and read the following words carefully, thoughtfully, and most of all, prayerfully. Let God’s Spirit speak to our hearts and restore the joy of what is and what is to come. We are chosen because we believe. Get a grip!
 
2 Thessalonians 2, The Message
 
The Anarchist
1-3 Now, friends, read these next words carefully. Slow down and don’t go jumping to conclusions regarding the day when our Master, Jesus Christ, will come back and we assemble to welcome him. Don’t let anyone shake you up or get you excited over some breathless report or rumored letter from me that the day of the Master’s arrival has come and gone. Don’t fall for any line like that.
 
3-5 Before that day comes, a couple of things have to happen. First, the Apostasy. Second, the debut of the Anarchist, a real dog of Satan. He’ll defy and then take over every so-called god or altar. Having cleared away the opposition, he’ll then set himself up in God’s Temple as “God Almighty.” Don’t you remember me going over all this in detail when I was with you? Are your memories that short?
 
6-8 You’ll also remember that I told you the Anarchist is being held back until just the right time. That doesn’t mean that the spirit of anarchy is not now at work. It is, secretly and underground. But the time will come when the Anarchist will no longer be held back, but will be let loose. But don’t worry. The Master Jesus will be right on his heels and blow him away. The Master appears and—puff!—the Anarchist is out of there.
 
9-12 The Anarchist’s coming is all Satan’s work. All his power and signs and miracles are fake, evil sleight of hand that plays to the gallery of those who hate the truth that could save them. And since they’re so obsessed with evil, God rubs their noses in it—gives them what they want. Since they refuse to trust truth, they’re banished to their chosen world of lies and illusions.
 
13-14 Meanwhile, we’ve got our hands full continually thanking God for you, our good friends—so loved by God! God picked you out as his from the very start. Think of it: included in God’s original plan of salvation by the bond of faith in the living truth. This is the life of the Spirit he invited you to through the Message we delivered, in which you get in on the glory of our Master, Jesus Christ.
 
2 Thessalonians 2 git a grip15-17 So, friends, take a firm stand, feet on the ground and head high. Keep a tight grip on what you were taught, whether in personal conversation or by our letter. May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech.
 
What do we learn?
–Satan is real. Don’t forget who the real enemy is.
–Greater still is Christ in us than Satan who is in the world trying to draw people back to him. Don’t forget!
–Satan still puts up a daily fight to destroy what God has created…us. But he will not win. “The Master Jesus will be right on his heels and blow him away.”
–Only God can allow the work of Satan to rise and fall. God is in control. Always.
–The Antichrist will look like and act like Jesus, but he is not! Don’t be fooled! Look to God and listen to His Holy Spirit in us.
–God will allow what we choose to be experienced. Choose well.
–Keep a tight grip on what we have been taught about God through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
 
“May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech.”
 
Live for Jesus. DON’T JUMP…to conclusions of world thinking.
 
2 Thessalonians 2 fresh heart
Dear Heavenly Father,
We repent of worry that creeps into our lives and belittles our trust in You. I love you because you first loved me. I know you won’t let go of me. My grip on You and what You have taught is tighter still. Continue to transform me until that glorious day when You will come to claim your own. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen
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GUTTY GRATITUDE

Thessalonians – Hope
 
I used to sing a song when I was younger and stronger about gratitude. The lyrics touched my life many times. In the hard times, God would recall the words of this song to my mind and just humming it restored my joy. Hanging on when everything around us seems to be falling apart is not a pleasant place to be and it hurts, from the inside out. BUT, God never leave us. He joins us IN that place and intimately loves us through it. For that alone, praise and thank the Almighty Father that He doesn’t leave and believe that HE will never let you down. HE will make a way that you cannot imagine. HE is Creator of all, in all and above all, so I’m pretty sure HE knows what to do and when it should be done. In the meantime, be grateful…from the gut that has been kicked…be always and eternally grateful that you can still breathe, love, cherish and decide how you will respond to hurt and despair.
 
IN EVERYTHING
In everything give Him thanks
Give Him thanks
In everything give thanks
Give Him thanks
In the good times praise His name
In the bad times do the same
In everything give the King of kings
All the thanks
 
Verse 1
With all the good things
That had come His way
It’s no wonder
You could hear Job say
The Lord giveth and He taketh away
I’ll give Him thanks
But when the tables were all turned around
And Job’s world came crashing down
His faith in God caused Job to say
I’ll still give Him thanks
 
Verse 2
When trouble comes
And there’s no one around
Satan tries to tell me
That God’s let me down
Through ev’ry dark hour
The best thing I’ve found
Is to give God the thanks
For He has never
Failed me yet
So why should I start now
To worry or fret
In eve’rything I won’t ever forget
To give God the thanks
 
“As long as I have breath I will praise Him”, the Psalmist cries out. I also believe that with my whole mind, heart and soul. God has taught me so many lessons in my losses that I cannot begin to count them. He has blessed me with people who stand with me and love me through it so that I have physical arms to feel His hugs of caring. God was, is and always will be. So…BE grateful!
 
As Paul writes, “justice will come”. “Troubles make us fit for the Kingdom”, take it to heart. Sometimes we win and sometimes we LEARN. So today, right now, ask God, “What are teaching me in the middle of this mess?”. Be teachable and pliable. He will tell us when we sincerely ask. This is NOT something He hides from us. This is God’s best for us…lessons learned in losing ourselves to gain everything to be grateful for…to be called His own.
 
It seems the Thessalonians were a grateful people of God and were great examples of extreme, gutty gratitude in the good times and bad. “If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely.” May we all freely give gratitude to the One who saved us! May love and gratitude be our first thought as we rise each day! He’s coming back, you know…!
2thessalonians1_11.jpg2 Thessalonians, The Message
 
1-2 I, Paul, together with Silas and Timothy, greet the church of the Thessalonian Christians in the name of God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ. Our God gives you everything you need, makes you everything you’re to be.
 
Justice Is on the Way
3-4 You need to know, friends, that thanking God over and over for you is not only a pleasure; it’s a must. We have to do it. Your faith is growing phenomenally; your love for each other is developing wonderfully. Why, it’s only right that we give thanks. We’re so proud of you; you’re so steady and determined in your faith despite all the hard times that have come down on you. We tell everyone we meet in the churches all about you.
 
5-10 All this trouble is a clear sign that God has decided to make you fit for the kingdom. You’re suffering now, but justice is on the way. When the Master Jesus appears out of heaven in a blaze of fire with his strong angels, he’ll even up the score by settling accounts with those who gave you such a bad time. His coming will be the break we’ve been waiting for. Those who refuse to know God and refuse to obey the Message will pay for what they’ve done. Eternal exile from the presence of the Master and his splendid power is their sentence. But on that very same day when he comes, he will be exalted by his followers and celebrated by all who believe—and all because you believed what we told you.
 
11-12 Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely.
 
Dear Heavenly Father,2 Thessalonians 1 walk with God
We praise Your holy Name. We are so grateful for your eternal love for us. We thank you for living in us. We thank you for sending Your Holy Spirit to guide, correct, comfort and love us dearly. Thank you, Jesus, for laying down your life for us. Thank you for saving us. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for caring enough to still teach us, transform us so we can be more who you created us to be. Continue to transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, and by His power in us, Yes and Amen!
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PRAY. ALL. THE. TIME!

Thessalonians – Hope
 
We’ve all done it. We are in strong disagreement with our spouse with voices that might go up a pitch or two. We are determined to make a point with a louder voice. Yeah, that ALWAYS works. (Sarcasm here.) Then the phone rings. We answer with the sweetest, at church or work voice, right in the middle of it all. “Helllloooo?”, in a nice, almost musical tone. I watched my parents do it, I’ve done it and now I watch my grown kids do it. This also happens when we are correcting children as they give us many reasons why they “just can’t” do what we have just asked them to do.
 
1 Thessalonians 5 joyPaul reminds us to embrace the way God wants us to live. Embrace each other. Overwhelm each other with appreciation and love. Here’s the kicker…”And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other.” Look for the best, not the worst in each other. Wait, what? AND be cheerful no matter what, followed by the advice “pray all the time”. We need to pray all the time so that we won’t snap, raise our voice in frustration and be at peace, right? Can I get an amen?
 
“Pray all the time” is followed by “Thank God no matter what happens. This is the way to embrace God and His way of living. Living in gratitude and humility puts a smile on our faces instead of a frown of frustration. But, guess what? We can’t holiness without God’s help. We need God and His Holy Spirit to make us holy.
 
By embracing God and His best for us, we can embrace each other with His love. We can encourage instead of sucking the life from each other with teasing quips and sarcasm. It is God and only God who makes us holy. It is God and only God who makes us “fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. Only God. Embrace God. When we embrace God, the embrace is automatically returned. Then embrace each other in all that is holy because of what God has done in us.
 
“The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!”
 
Wow.
 
1 Thessalonians 5, The Message
The Way He Wants You to Live
 
12-13 And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!
 
13-15 Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.
 
16-18 Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.
 
19-22 Don’t suppress the Spirit, and don’t stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don’t be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what’s good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.
 
1 Thessalonians 5 holy
23-24 May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!
 
25-27 Friends, keep up your prayers for us. Greet all the followers of Jesus there with a holy embrace. And make sure this letter gets read to all the brothers and sisters. Don’t leave anyone out.
 
28 The amazing grace of Jesus Christ be with you!
 
Dear Heavenly Father,
Make us holy. We repent of snapping, raising our voices and thinking the worst, not the best at times. Continue your transformational work in me. Transform your church. Transform the world. Begin with me. Thank you for your unconditional love, grace and mercy. May Your glory be seen on my face today.
In Jesus Name, Amen
 
And I’m singing…
Walking around these walls
I thought by now they’d fall
But You have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come
Knowing the battle’s won
For You have never failed me yet
 
Promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence
You’ve never failed me yet
 
I know the night won’t last
Your word will come to pass
My heart will sing Your praise again
Jesus You’re still enough
Keep me within Your love
My heart will sing Your praise again
 
Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence
You’ve never failed
 
Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence
You’ve never failed me yet
 
I’ve seen You move, You move the mountains
And I believe I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe I’ll see You do it again
 
I’ve seen You move, You move the mountains
And I believe I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe I’ll see You do it again
 
I’ve seen You move, You move the mountains
And I believe I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe I’ll see You do it again
I’ll see You do it again
 
Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence
You’ve never failed
 
Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence
You’ve never failed me yet
You’ve never failed me yet
 
I never will forget
You’ve never failed me yet
I never will forget
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WHEN

Thessalonians – Hope
 
Over the years of my lifetime (and that’s quite a few, now), there have been predictors of the time when life as we know it will end. They adamantly declare a special date and time. Some have followed a leader into seclusion or on a mountain top to wait for the coming of Christ on this special date and time, right down to the minute. The date comes and goes and nothing happens. How this must amuse God and make him sad at the same time. NO ONE knows. Only God.
 
We can even picture Jesus, at the right hand of God, saying, “Not today…Just one more day until this one comes back home…” “Just one more day…” Yes, Jesus Christ, our advocate.
 
Whatever your theology might be on the topic of what and when concerning the end times, let’s keep it simple. GOK…God only knows. This is found in our passage today! Live for Him now and we will live with Him forever. The WHEN doesn’t really matter, does it?
 
1 Thessalonians 5, living for Him1 Thessalonians 5, The Message
 
1-3 I don’t think, friends, that I need to deal with the question of when all this is going to happen. You know as well as I that the day of the Master’s coming can’t be posted on our calendars. He won’t call ahead and make an appointment any more than a burglar would. About the time everybody’s walking around complacently, congratulating each other—“We’ve sure got it made! Now we can take it easy!”—suddenly everything will fall apart. It’s going to come as suddenly and inescapably as birth pangs to a pregnant woman.
 
4-8 But friends, you’re not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this? You’re sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand. So let’s not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart. People sleep at night and get drunk at night. But not us! Since we’re creatures of Day, let’s act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation.
 
9-11 God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.
 
1 Thessalonians 5 keep on
What do we learn?
–God only knows.
–Repent and be saved by faith. Keep the faith.
–Stay alert.
–Build the faith and hope in others.
–Encourage each other.
–NO ONE will be left behind.
–Just keep doing the above.
–Rinse and Repeat.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for making this so simple. We will keep doing what you have asked us to be and do. Help us to stay alert and not fall into complacency concerning our faith. Use us to always be encouragers of the faith and hope we have in You to others around us and around the world. Thank you for this assurance today. The time is not our concern. Continue to transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen
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WE’LL BE WALKING ON AIR!

Thessalonians – Hope
 
We sang our hearts out in worship to God together last night! It was an amazing night of bringing many together from all over town to praise God in unity. Hearts were full. Smiles of joy were on faces as the Holy Spirit filled the room, touching all of us. The songs still ring in my head and bless my soul.
 
The cross has the final word
The cross has the final word
Sorrow may come in the darkest night
But the cross has the final word
 
There’s nothing stronger, nothing higher
There’s nothing greater than the name of Jesus
All the honor, all the power
All the glory to the name of Jesus
 
The cross has the final word
The cross has the final word
Evil may put up its strongest fight
But the cross has the final word
 
As we read our next passage in Thessalonians we recall the hope and assurance we have of our destiny. Jesus IS coming back. “So reassure one another with these words!”
 
1 Thessalonians 4, The Message
The Master’s Coming
13-14 And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.
 
1 Thessalonians 4 hope rising15-18 And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence—we have the Master’s word on it—that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they’ll be ahead of us. The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God’s trumpet blast! He’ll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise—they’ll go first. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we’ll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words.
 
DO IT AGAIN!
Walking around these walls
I thought by now they’d fall
But You have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come
Knowing the battle’s won
For You have never failed me yet
 
Promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence
You’ve never failed me yet
 
I know the night won’t last
Your word will come to pass
My heart will sing Your praise again
Jesus You’re still enough
Keep me within Your love
My heart will sing Your praise again
 
Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence
You’ve never failed
 
Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence
You’ve never failed me yet
 
I’ve seen You move, You move the mountains
And I believe I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe I’ll see You do it again
 
1 Thessaloninas 4 we believeWhat do we learn?
–Jesus is coming back to claim His own.
–We are joint heirs with Christ in the eyes of God, the Father.
–God will keep His promises.
–God doesn’t change. Ever. God will love us forever.
–Are you one of His own? You can be?
 
YES, AND AMEN!
 
Father of kindness
You have poured out of grace
You brought me out of darkness
You have filled me with peace
Giver of mercy
You’re my help in time of need
Lord I can’t help but sing
 
Faithful you are
Faithful forever you will be
Faithful you are
All your promises are yes and Amen
All your promises are yes and Amen
 
Beautiful Saviour
You have brought me near
You pulled me from the ashes
You have broken every curse
Blessed redeemer
You have set this captive free
Lord I can’t help but sing
 
Faithful you are
Faithful forever you will be
Faithful you are
All your promises are yes and Amen
All your promises are yes and Amen
 
Faithful you are
Faithful forever you will be
Faithful yes you are
All your promises are yes and Amen
I will rest in your promises
My confidence…
 
Dear Heavenly Father,
No matter what we are going through, You are always there ready to help, ready to save us, ready with Your best plan. Thank you. Thank you for the assurance and confidence you give us each day as we look up and reach for your hand to guide our every thought and action. Continue to transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Yes! And Amen!
 
1 Thessalonians 4 coming for meOne final thought…
As a five year old, I had a great fear of mom or dad forgetting to pick me up after Kindergarten. (They always remembered, by the way.) Most times they were early. But if they were a bit later than my five year mind thought they should be I would cry at the fence. Fear overtook me. I would be a pile of tears when they would come. Why? I was five. My trust was not built or matured. Is this how others feel who have no hope, faith and trust in the return of Jesus? Ooh, what a horrible, anxious for no reason, life to live. Find Jesus. Follow Jesus! He’s coming to get you…HE PROMISED!
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GOD’S BEST AND HIS CALL FOR US

Thessalonians – Hope
 
It is so easy to slip back into old habits and ways that hurt us and those around us. We need God’s Holy Spirit to help us stay focused once we have said yes to Him and have repented of our past sin through Jesus Christ. God want us to live a pure life…unbranded, detached and free from what the evil one wants in his effort to bring us down and destroy us. Paul clearly tells us how to live a pure life in intimate relationship with Jesus by His Spirit, knowing He will be back again.
 
1 Thessalonians 41 Thessalonians 4, The Message
You’re God-Taught
4 1-3 One final word, friends. We ask you—urge is more like it—that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance. You know the guidelines we laid out for you from the Master Jesus. God wants you to live a pure life.
 
Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity.
 
4-5 Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God.
 
6-7 Don’t run roughshod over the concerns of your brothers and sisters. Their concerns are God’s concerns, and he will take care of them. We’ve warned you about this before. God hasn’t invited us into a disorderly, unkempt life but into something holy and beautiful—as beautiful on the inside as the outside.
 
8 If you disregard this advice, you’re not offending your neighbors; you’re rejecting God, who is making you a gift of his Holy Spirit.
 
9-10 Regarding life together and getting along with each other, you don’t need me to tell you what to do. You’re God-taught in these matters. Just love one another! You’re already good at it; your friends all over the province of Macedonia are the evidence. Keep it up; get better and better at it.
 
11-12 Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.
 
1 Thessalonians 4 Gods bestWhat do we learn?
–Keep yourselves sexually pure.
–Give dignity and respect to the body God created you to have.
–Don’t think you can solve the problems of those around you. Only God does that in His best way for them. He will take care of them likes He takes care of you. We just pray, God works.
–God invites us into His life of beauty and perfection. Look at “the lilies of the field”, Jesus. God takes care with them as he does with us–as beautiful on the inside as the outside, created by Him.
–Living any other way is rejecting God.
–Get along with each other. “Love God. Love one another,” Jesus taught. Keep getting better and better at loving each other.
–Stay calm.
–Do what God has invited you to do.
–Do it in the most excellent way–with Love.
–Live to please God. We will Be a difference in this world by following this advice.
 
Dear Heavenly Father,
Your Word and example of Jesus Christ is simple and profound at the same time. It is opposite of how the world thinks. That’s why we stand out in the crowd when we follow You with love in our hearts for You and others. Keep us focused on You and Your ways. Transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen
 
He’s coming back, you know….
 
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