I had the privilege to attend our community Thanksgiving service last night, and it was terrific. The choir ensembles were top notch. The preaching by Brother Jones, Greater Peace, did a fantastic job. I wanted to take a few minutes to recap his thoughts. As a family, my prayer is that you will discuss this verse sometime this week and be reminded and encouraged as I was.
1 Thessalonians 5: 16 – 18 says
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
We were all reminded that in everything, we are to give thanks. Not because of everything, but in everything. This little two-letter word changes the whole outlook of this verse. Sometimes, I included, we get focused on being thankful for everything we have or have done, but forget this verse says IN everything. In the good and the bad, the highs and the low, we are to give thanks in that. God has a purpose and plan for us all, and even amid a pandemic, political unrest, and much more, we are to give thanks.
When we have the mindset of IN everything, we remember that we can and should be thankful no matter what. We can have the assurance that our thanks comes from knowing that in it all, God is there. God is in control. As pastor Jones said, “God has this.”.
I do not know about you, but I want to raise children that give thanks to God IN everything, not because of things. It starts with us as parents modeling and pointing out that we should be thankful for it all.
Bro. Jones also reminded us to rejoice evermore. Rejoice evermore is the same principle. Paul reminds us that no matter what, we should rejoice in knowing that Jesus died for us and is coming back for us. No matter what our bank account says, the belongings we have or don’t have, we can REJOICE in the blood of Jesus.
Lastly, we are to pray without ceasing. We are continually going to the Father and seeking, asking, and listening to what He has to say for our lives. When we have this attitude and habit, we will have a lot easier time giving thanks IN everything, and REJOICING evermore.
Like many of you, I struggle with material possessions and money. It is a product of my sinful nature. I want not only stuff for me, but the very best for my family as well. My wife and I have realized we are in a tough fight with our children. We are constantly challenged with reminding them that we are not of this world but in it. I felt last night was another reminder that I do not struggle with rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks when I have an attitude of gratitude.
So I want to encourage you as parents and ministry leaders to take some time and think about all that you have to be thankful for. The list is endless. God never stops blessing us. John 1: 16 We have all received one blessing after another. God’s grace is not limited.
Two things you can do not only today or this week, but all the time to reflect and create a habit of 1 Thessalonians 5: 16 – 17 are to
- Model these verses. Show your children and ministry what it is like to live out these verses.
- Create conversations. Create conversations with your family about how we can rejoice and give thanks. It is our job to talk to our kids about things of God vs. the stuff of this world. If we are not talking with our kids, someone will, and we want to make sure that something of God is what they are learning.
I pray you were encouraged by this beautiful reminder as I was and know I am praying for you, and if you ever need anything, please do not hesitate to reach out.