1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 (AMP) Rejoice always and delight in your faith; be unceasing and persistent in prayer; in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench [subdue, or be unresponsive to the working and guidance of] the [Holy] Spirit. Do not scorn or reject gifts of prophecy or prophecies [spoken revelations—words of instruction or exhortation or warning]. But test all things carefully [so you can recognize what is good]. Hold firmly to that which is good. Abstain from every form of evil [withdraw and keep away from it].
I was in 1 Thessalonians yesterday and came across this list given by Paul. It had so much good nuggets of truth in that I wanted to break it down. What is funny is that it is list of do’s and don’ts. Isn’t that what the modern day church is trying to get away from? However, it is not a list of what not sins to do and how to be pure and holy, this is a list of how to keep your mind right. Paul confessed about the battle he had going on in his mind about this very church (1 Thessalonians 3:5), “For this reason, when I could no longer endure the suspense, I sent someone to find out about your faith [how you were holding up under pressure], for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our work [among you] would prove to be ineffective.”
So here is my list for this week:
- Rejoice always and delight in my faith. In my prayers, in my daily parts of life and in all circumstances. No matter what happens, I am to rejoice. How can I rejoice when someone just blasted me? How can I rejoice when the bills keep coming in? How can I rejoice when I just got in a fight with my spouse? Remember Romans 8:28: And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. In trust Him, so I rejoice. Joy is a fruit of my faith in Him. Continually have a heart that is thankful. This is God’s will for you!
- I should be accepting of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I do not need to be scornful in direction. We have become an independent, self governed, selfish group when we do not take direction as a growing opportunity. The Holy Spirit is not trying to harm you. We need to grow in the surrendered life.
- Do not reject the gifts of prophecy. This is man speaking to me through the revelation of the Holy Spirit. “Nobody is going to tell me what to do!” What will they say? Revelation knowledge (to get me back in line with the character and nature of God as revealed in His Word). Words of instruction (you are always going to have someone tell you what to do). Warnings (sometimes my attitude needs to be put back in check).
- Test all things! We like this one. I get to judge and criticize what is being said or done. Wait though. It says to test all things so you can recognize what is good. I do not test things and tear down what is bad. SO I CAN RECOGNIZE WHAT IS GOOD! Philippians 4:8 says, “ Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].” This is a true test for love. Can I change my mindset to focus on the good on others? Can I hold firmly to what is good?
- Abstain from every form of evil. Is this telling me to not sin? Why are we so focused on sin? This is a heart thing. If I need to hide who I am or what I am doing, then that is opening a doorway for the evil one into my life. The church has been good about hiding , therefore, it now lacks power. Be a person of integrity. Do not cause anyone to question your motives. This is why transparency is the body should be encouraged. Why are our boundaries more like weapons against flesh and blood?
I am rejoicing over you today. I am thankful for those that He has placed in my life to guide me. I will not be scornful in correction. I choose love instead.
Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 in the Passion Translation. I like to put my name in the passage…Amanda’s love is large and incredibly patient. Amanda is gentle and contently kind to all. Amanda refuses to be jealous when someone else is blessed. Amanda does not brag her own achievements not inflates her own importance. Amanda does not traffic in shame and disrespect, she is not seeking honor for herself. Amanda is not easily irritated and is not quick to take offense. Amanda is joyful when honesty is presented and celebrates it for herself (does not find ways around the truth), and she does not delight in when someone else is wronged. Amanda’s trust is under the shelter of the Almighty for she is grounded in His perfect love. Amanda believes and thinks the best for others. Amanda does not take hurt, rejection or setbacks as a defeat. Amanda continues to hope, because love never gives up.
I have to admit that I failed at a few of these this morning, but instead of beating myself up, I look to the Father. He is the perfecter of my faith.
Father, I thank You for the reader today. I thank You that you sent your Son to reconcile us to You. I choose to walk in freedom and grow in the areas that brings me more freedom. I do this so that I can be a light and example to others that need freedom. I bind up every thought that may be holding me captive to loving others the way You want me to. I repent for not walking in love like I should. I know you give me grace in these areas, not that I take advantage of Your mercy to give me permission to hurt others, but so that I can grow. Let my hope grow today. I rejoice in every set up that has been made today. I know that I can trust You. I place my trust in You. I desire You. Holy Spirit I surrender more of me today. I pray for those that persecute me for Your Name’s sake. Let your Word reign in my heart, in my mind and on my tongue today. In Jesus Name, Amen.