August 27, 2010

Building Strong Friendships in Christ

Give Thanks in Everything Today

“in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

 1 Thessalonians 5:18

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Eternal Life

    When you sit down and give some serious thought to what the architecture of your mind should look like, most people realize they have never really give much thought to a floor plan.  They just build their life adding on a little space here, and then remodeling the space there, and moving furniture around over in that room, and maybe repainting here and there.  Our minds can become very cluttered, messy, and weird.  Our weird minds can have dramatic impacts upon how we interact with our friends, family, and everyone else.

       In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Paul adds to his list of commands God has for us.  He now commands us to give thanks in everything, because giving thanks in everything is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  We have a lot to talk about in this verse, and so let me take it in sections.

       First, giving thanks in everything fits with all the commands already laid down in this passage, particularly rejoice always and pray without ceasing.  Now Paul adds the third command: in everything, give thanks today.  Paul emphasizes “in everything.”  No matter what is going on in your life today, give thanks.  Right in the middle of the heartache, triumph, failure, or whatever, give thanks right in the middle of it.  Do you give thanks every day?  I love to ask people: “What is the best thing Jesus has done for you  lately?”  I know the greatest thing Jesus does for anyone is always salvation.  He bore my sins in His body on the cross so that I may die to sin and live to righteous, all by faith alone.  But Paul really meant in everything we must give thanks.  Want a new perspective on prayer?  Give thanks every time you pray and for the things happening in your life–good, bad or indifferent.

       Second, notice the word “today.”  We give thanks today for everything that happened today.  In other words, before the day ends, be sure that you have given thanks for everything God has done for you today.  He is quite explicit here.  Give thanks not only in everything, but do it today.  Before you close your eyes, make an inventory of all the good things God has done for you today.  Take the time to give Him thanks from the bottom of your heart.

       Third, the will of God for me in Christ Jesus means that I give thanks in everything today.  Notice the part about “the will of God for me in Christ Jesus.”  If you are serious about being a follower of Christ, then do the things that He said to do.  It is just that simple in many ways.  Doing His will remains different from talking about doing His will.  If you want to know God’s will, so that you can do God’s will, then give thanks today in everything.        

       So, we learn some more about building strong friendships in Christ.

     ●  Strong bonds of friendship form when we give thanks today right in the middle of everything that is going on today.

     ●  Strong bonds of friendship grow when I give thanks knowing that God wills me to give thanks today.  I should be encouraging my friends to give thanks with me today, no matter how I feel today, or what happened today.  You see, the habit of giving thanks in every circumstance of life, will carry us through the really difficult days, and also help us rejoice during the great days.  In fact, it will lift all our days closer to Jesus.

    ●  We harm our bonds of friendship when we fail to give thanks today, or we let any circumstance in our life stop us from giving thanks today.  We need to thank God for our friends in Christ today, no matter what they are like today. 

Application for Today

        Today, I want to give thanks in everything.  Before you close your eyes today, will you be sure to thank God for all He has done for your today?  The only way to do that will be thank Him all day long for all He does, as He does it in your life.  Praying yet?


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