July 18, 2010

Building Strong Friendships in Christ

Rejoicing over You Today

“For what thanks can we render to God for you in return for all the joy with which we rejoice before our God on your account,”

1 Thessalonians 3:9

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Eternal Life

      What makes you happy?  Many people spend time each day thinking about their own happiness, or lack of it.  Sometimes, people sink so low they cannot even imagine being happy.  You know those people.  No joy, no smiles, no fun, no love.  At the other end of the spectrum, you the see the incurably happy.  Nothing will distract them from thoughts of nothing is wrong, nothing can go wrong, and everything is perfect.  Those folks will not be confused by facts to the contrary, because they never want to anything but positive news.  Paul and the ministry team dealt with real people, living real lives, every day, and found great joy in helping people grow up in Christ by imparting their lives to them.  Do you remember Jesus saying: “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it” (Luke 9:24).  Paul lost his life one day at a time, by imparting it to the Thessalonians, and found his life of joy in Christ by doing so.

       The ministry team found joy in the lives and faith of the Thessalonian believers.  The ministry team did not know how to render adequate thanks to God for them.  God had blessed the ministry team with so much joy over the Thessalonians that the team just had no way of returning thanks equal to the blessing of God.  We can see several great lessons about joy right here.  As you read 1 Thessalonians 3:9, think about these seven things (perhaps you would create your list from the verse):

        1.  Joy flows from thankful hearts.

        2.  Joy comes from God pouring His love through our lives into the lives of other people, particularly believers.

        3.  Joy deserves expression in our prayer lives by the measure God has made us rejoice.

        4.  Joy energizes our lives by the grace of God working within us.

        5.  Joy returns to us from our imparting our lives to other believers.

        6.  Joy should cover our prayer lives before God and He should hear it in our silent voices before Him.

        7.  Joy in our hearts should be shared with our spiritual friends who put it there.

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

     ●  Strong bonds of friendship form when we rejoice over the faith of our friends in Christ.

     ●  Strong bonds of friendship grow when we let God and our friends know how much joy they bring into our lives.

     ●  We harm our bonds of friendship when we no longer rejoice over the faith of our friends, or let God know how much we rejoice over His loving actions in our lives that produce so much joy.   

Application for Today

        Today, I will be praying with joy in my heart in return for all the joy that my friends in Christ bring to my life.  What will you be rejoicing about today?

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Christ Assembly provides free access to various studies from the Bible, the Word of God. The studies in this website are not inspired, but God produced the Bible, consisting of sixty-nine books (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament). The Holy Spirit inspired authors to produce original autographs of the Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Those original authors wrote over the course of many centuries. They wrote divinely inspired words and every word was divinely inspired. The authors communicated in their own styles, and with their own vocabulary, but God breathed out every word of the final autographs. The words in the Bible really matter, and deserve careful study. 
As we study, we seek to love Jesus more because His word has instructed us so that we learn His ways. Eternal life consists in knowing God the Father, and Jesus Christ Whom God sent. As the eternal God of Glory, One with His Father, the Son of God took flesh and dwelt among us. Because of His death, He used His blood to purchase our redemption. He was raised for our justification. We now live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved us and gave Himself for us. By the grace of God, the Holy Spirit abides in every born-again believer and fills us with His presence and blessings. He leads us into all truth. Jesus is the truth, and the way, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Jesus, our Lord. 
We look forward to His imminent return to the clouds of earth, to snatch away the believers alive on earth, so that we may be forever with the Lord. When He returns to the clouds, He will bring with Him all those people in Christ who died before His return to the clouds. We encourage one another with the promises of God, Who makes our path grow brighter and brighter, until the full light of day shines forth. We love Jesus and look forward to seeing Him soon. After Jesus removes the believers from the earth, then a terrible period of seven years follows where God brings measured and precise judgments upon the people alive on earth. God cut those days of  Tribulation short, or no flesh would have been saved. Jesus will then return to earth, slay His enemies, and place His feet on the Mount of Olives where He ascended to heaven. He will then reign on earth for a thousand years, and believers will reign with Him. After the Millennial Reign of Christ, all unbelievers will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment, and they will suffer according to their deeds done on earth. They will be cast into the Lake of Fire, a place of torment night and day for eternity, because they never received the free gift of salvation while alive on earth. One day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God. Today we invite you to come and see Jesus, and learn from Him, for He is gentle and humble in heart. Take His yoke upon you, for His burden is easy and His yoke is light. He will give you rest for your soul as you trust Him. We receive salvation only from Jesus, by faith alone in Jesus, Who gives us the free gift of eternal life. 
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