[gĭv] [thāngk]…BIBLE WEEK PT 3

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV – 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

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Well ladies, we have come to the end of our journey in dissecting these three verses in this passage of scripture in Thessalonians 5.

So far we’ve discussed “16 rejoice always”,“17 pray continually”,  and now we’re at “18 give thanks…”

How befitting is it to end with this scripture during this time – Thanksgiving. This happened because of the Lord’s guiding, please believe me when I say that it was no planning on my part whatsoever. These verses leaped out of the page and into my heart as I sought the Lord on what to write about during our celebration of Bible week.

Without further ado, let’s get to it ladies…shall we?

The 18th verse of Thessalonians 5 starts off with “give thanks in all circumstances…” there’s more  in this verse but we’ll discuss the last portion of this scripture momentarily. As I read this, I pondered the question: Is there a difference between saying thank you and giving thanks? Here’s what I learned…

Thank-You: a verbal expression of gratitude or thanks (lip service). www.dictionary.com

Give Thanks: the act of giving thanks, grateful acknowledgement of benefits or favors, especially to God. www.dictionary.com

What a blatant difference between two phrases that seem interchangeable at first glance. Praise God because He wants to reveal His word to us and His desire is for us to go deeper in Him.

Needless to say that our God has given us benefits and favor that we can’t fully comprehend because our humanness is no match for His highness. His unmerited favor and daily benefits alone leave me (personally) in awe, not to mention His mercy, grace, and love, etc. Somehow saying “thank you” to the Lord doesn’t quite suffice in and of itself. Mere expressions of verbal thank-yous simply aren’t enough in comparison to our acts of giving thanks, especially to the One who gave His only Son as a ransom for us all. In addition, when expressions migrate to actions (in God) the result is far beyond what can be imagined.

Please don’t misunderstand me in regard to saying “thank you” to God (or to anyone else for that matter), we should say it because not only is it the right thing to do, it is the polite thing to do as well. Also “thank you” is a natural response we were taught as children to say after being shown kindness, over time it can become automated, mediocre, and lack sincerity. It ultimately loses the value of its meaning in the vastness of repetition. Our heavenly Father is thank-worthy. He deserves more than verbal expressions with our mouths, but the act(s) of giving thanks with our hearts. Having said that, today, I challenge you to delve deeper in Him with a heart of thanksgiving >>> Well, are you up for the challenge?

Since the “thank-you” and “give thanks” phrases have been clarified let’s tack on the next words…all circumstances – give thanks in all circumstances. A circumstance is a condition, detail, part, or attribute, with respect to time, place, manner, agent, etc. that accompanies, determines, or modifies a fact or event, or influencing factor.  In addition, it is the current condition or state of a person with respect to income, material welfare, etc.

Let’s break that down for people like me to understand – give thanks no matter what situation (circumstance) you are facing, give thanks when you are smack dab in the middle of life’s raging storm, give thanks in good times and bad, in joy and sadness, in life and death, in anything and everything. Give thanks in ALL circumstances.

The latter part of this scripture explains what was said previously: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. It is God’s will for us to 1.Rejoice always. 2. Pray continually. 3. Give thanks in all circumstances.

I’ve heard it said that the safest place in the world is in the will of God – and I wholeheartedly agree. The will of God is His desire, plan, purpose, etc. for each of us. As godly women, as Christians, our desires, plans, purpose, etc. should be in line with the will of our Lord and Savior. If it’s not in His will it’s not from Him. If your will is not a reflection of His, you are not in harmony with Him and an evaluation of the source of your will is vital. God will never contradict His will (nor His word).

Our all-powerful Lord has given us instructions on how to live on Earth as we journey towards home in Heaven. As we bring this celebration of God’s word to a close, I pray you each remember that reading the Bible should not be confined to a week,a month, or a year, etc. but something we strive to do on a daily basis. The more you know, the more you’ll grow (in Him). We learn about Him by studying Him, by studying His word.

Until we meet again lovelies…

May you rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks all circumstances – for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus!
Takiela

[pray] con•tin•u•al•ly BIBLE WEEK PT 2

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV – 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.bibleweekpicAnd we’re back for the second part of our three part series in honor of Bible Week. Today we’ll be discussing the next verse in this passage of Scripture in 1 Thessalonians as highlighted above.

Verse 17 seems simple enough, it plainly tells us to “pray continually.” Although it may appear basic, it most certainly isn’t anything of the sort. I’d venture to say that to “pray continually” is one area we (as Christians) struggle with often. Let me explain.

There are some people who are prayer warriors, praying all the time. Praying is what they do and they do it well. Some others pray sometimes, it may be more of a routine (i.e. at bedtime, mealtime, tragedies, etc.). In addition, there are some who either don’t pray at all or they pray very little. I’ll admit that I’ve been in each of these categories.

Most of us know what prayer is, however, for those who don’t, it is defined as “to offer devout petition, praise, thanks, etc. to God”, according to Dictionary.com. It is basically how we communicate with God. The word continually is defined as “very often; at regular or frequent intervals; habitually, etc.”

In the previous verse, the word always (1Thessalonies 5:16) pertains to length of time whereas in this verse, the word continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17) relates to the frequency of it.

Trust me when I say I’m not suggesting that we pray as often as we breathe, I’m not sure that’s possible, but I am challenging you to step up your prayer game (take your prayer life to the next level). If your first response in stressful situations, is to talk to your husband, BFF, etc. about it, I encourage you to take 5 minutes to pray about it before discussing it with anyone. If your initial reaction to an incident is to worry or get angry, take a 5 minute prayer break before you reply. If your schedule is too busy to pray, add 5 minutes of prayer time to your agenda. You get the idea. J Be intentional about praying and the habit of doing so will soon follow.

We should be in the habit of praying, regularly talking and listening to God. Praying should not be based on the posture of your body but the position of your heart. In our society, there are times we won’t be able to kneel and pray, however, that shouldn’t stop us from praying. We can pray silently or aloud, through tears of sadness or joy, individually or with a group. The emphasis is on praying not the details of how and why, just do it: “pray continually” – it’s both complicated and simple. Some studies propose it takes about 17 days to form a habit – that’s it! One who persistently practices prayer, perfects the habit of it.

May the habit of praying be with you,
Takiela

 

Stay Tuned: Next we’ll be discussing “give thanks in all circumstances: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV

(the third and final portion of this passage of Scripture in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)

re•joice al•ways – BIBLE WEEK PT 1

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV – 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

bibleweek1of7In honor of Bible Week, we’re going to take a closer look at the above Bible verse. I love breaking the word down into bite sized pieces to chew on and digest! LOL!

Lord, I pray that You would allow a divine revelation of Your word! Bless each of us to extract from it what You want each of us to learn. Help us to apply what we learn to our lives in such a way that will glorify You alone, for there is no us without You.

Now ladies…let’s do this – in Jesus name!

The word rejoice, what exactly does it mean? The prefix re is defined as “again” or “again and again” to indicate repetition, or with the definition “back” or “backward” to indicate withdrawal or backward motion according to www.dictionary.com. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/re-)

We all have a pretty good understanding of what the word joy means. However, I’d like to explain (if I may) what it does not mean. Joy does not mean happy. The word happy is a derivative from the word happens. In other words, you are happy because of what happens – it’s circumstantial, based off your current situation. Joy is not dependent upon situations but it is rooted in God. You can have joy regardless of what’s taking place around you (we’ll get back to that later). *Joy is also one of the fruits of the Spirit. See Galatians 5:22-23*

When we add the prefix re to the word joy we get the word rejoice, which means to have joy over and over again, repeat it as often as necessary. But wait, the Lord in His infinite wisdom didn’t not stop there because of His children like Takiela (LOL) who is sometime in need of a back-up plan in case I miss it the first time. The second part to that definition is back, backward, or backward motion – go back to joy! No matter what difficult times you are facing currently, go back to the place where you had joy and duplicate this action… frequently. That is how you can have joy regardless of what’s taking place around you. Your joy isn’t based on what’s happening but it is based on God. Are there times you’ll be sorrowful? Absolutely, but even in those times, if you choose to backtrack to the moments of joy in God you draw strength from it.

Philippians 4:4 NIV – Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Nehemiah 8:10 NIV – for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

May you always fall back on the joy of the Lord, over and over again,
Takiela

Stay Tuned: Next we’ll be discussing “pray continually” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 NIV (the second portion of this passage Scripture in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)

M.A.D. – The “My Adam” Deceit

hisherweddingsetSingle women – “I’m waiting on my Adam.

Engaged/Newly Married Women – “I’ve found my Adam.

This is the phrase I see trending on websites, blogs, social media and among ministries. I must admit that initially my thoughts were…”awe, that’s cute” and the moment the thought entered my mind the Lord lovingly nudged my heart. Later that night, I sought God and searched the scriptures (and vice versa), repeating this cycle for several days. Let me tell you young ladies the truth hurts sometimes, but nevertheless, not my will but His will be done.

May His will free you, in all things, Takiela.

Daughters of God, I love you. As your Father, the King, my plans for you are to give you hope and to prosper you. Even you, being born in sin and shaped in inequity give good gifts to your children, will I not do the same? Listen to Me sweetheart, do not adopt any principle that is not based on My Word, which is rooted and founded in Me. Do not lie to yourself by trusting what is worthless because you will get nothing in return (Job 15:31 NIV), whoever invests in lies will get lies plus interest due before the due date (Job 15:31and31 MSG). There is only one father of lies. I have come to set the captives free, I am the way, the truth, and the light. You must go through My Son to get to Me.

Do you know the story of Adam and the consequences of his decision? He listened to his wife and disobeyed Me (Genesis 3:17-19). Why would you refer to the husband you say I have blessed you with, as your “Adam” and if he is your “Adam” that makes you his…? Do you really want your husband to refer to you as his “Eve” the woman who caused sin to enter the world (Genesis 3:16)?

Daughters of the King, you should reflect no one outside of Me. Likewise, My sons should reflect no one outside of Me. I created mankind in My own image, in the image of Me, I created them, both the men and the women (Genesis 1:27). How can imperfection strive for imperfection, only I am He who is perfect, strive only for Me. I love you and have loved you with a limitless love that outlasts time. Return to your place of royalty in Me.