Today’s Scrip-Bit   28 January 2022   1 Thessalonians 5:16.

1 Thessalonians 5:16.     Rejoice evermore.

Ah my Scrip-Bit friends and family, this Friday morning has opened beautifully, like a true winter wonderland, with the sun shining so brightly that its reflection off the snow tends to blind you, if you look at it too closely! (smile) And the temperature is just right for such a day too, around minus 16 Celsius. No, I’m not crazy, a certain kind of day deserves a certain temperature. And then we have Jesus abounding in our souls, spirits and bodies, so what more can we ask eh? Nothing! 

So let’s say it like we mean it nuh: ‘This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it! Oh yes my people, every day is made for rejoicing, but some like this one, just takes your breath away, and you can’t do anything else but rejoice; rejoice and give thanks! And that just recalls these marvellous passages of scripture, featuring Bruh Paul’s immortal words to the Thessalonians, where he encourages them to: 

‘ Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance (every form) of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who will also do it.’ (1 Thess. 5:16-24) 

Wow friends! That’s one of those bits of scripture, that sort of includes everything a believer needs to live a good Christian life! And the nice thing about it is that it’s simple and straightforward, as well as practical. So, I would suggest we use it as a guideline for our daily lives, where we rejoice that we are alive and have Jesus who reconciles us to God and offers us the most wonderful gift of salvation for simply believing in Him. 

And to help us with all our daily problems we just keep talking to God about everything, not necessarily continuously or audibly, but having an attitude of prayer throughout our day. And for all of that my fellow saints, giving thanks to our wonderful God in any and everything is paramount, because that’s what He expects of us. As the scholars explain: ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance  (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’ 

Ah friends, that’s like how we say one hand washes the other; prayer helps us to stay thankful regardless of our circumstances! Then we come to a big one: ‘Quench not the Spirit.’ Now that is possibly the most important aspect of Christian living, for the Holy Spirit of God has been placed within us to lead and guide us in a godly life on this ungodly earth. And when you ‘Quench it,’ that means, ‘stifle’ or ‘suppress it’ then it cannot do the job it was sent to do. As the scholars tell us, we are hindered in rejoicing, in prayer, in giving thanks during adversity, and despising prophetic utterances inspired by the Spirit. 

It’s basically what Bruh Paul said to Ephesians: ‘And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.’ (Eph. 4:30) And yuh know what friends, the more we suppress, stifle or repress the Holy Spirit of God in our lives, the less it is able to act on our behalf. It doesn’t sound as loud and clear as it once did, and we are basically left to paddle our own canoe, which certainly is not a wise action. 

Then we come to the next practical aspect of Christian living as prescribed by Bruh Paul to the Thessalonians. ‘Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.’ (vs. 21) That means be careful of what you believe, try and prove them before you believe them, and hang on to the good ones. It’s similar to what he said more explicitly to the Philippians. ‘Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest (noble), whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise (anything praiseworthy), think (meditate) on these things.’ (Phil. 4:8) 

Yes, believers need to think or meditate on the right things, if we want to do the right things, which is ‘Abstain from all appearance of evil.’ (vs.22) And what does that mean? It’s like Bruh Paul explained in his message to the church at Rome. ‘Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men (have regard for good things)… Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.’ (Rom. 12:17, 21). 

It couldn’t be any clearer than that my faithful brethren. And when we follow those basic rules, then our spirits, bodies and souls will be sanctified, set apart for our faithful God, and the surpassing peace He promised, will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. And the peace of God is the supreme blessing on this riotous, ungodly, deceitful, evil and unfaithful world. When you have that nothing bothers you, and you can go about Christ’s will with diligence and excellence. 

But where I believe we’ve been most sadly lacking in our Christian journey is in the department of prayer. We haven’t been doing that prayer without ceasing thing. But it’s not too late to begin. So let’s do that right now nuh, let’s go to God in prayer, through our Friday Chant. Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. You know it’s been rough… what with all the anxiety, the confusion and havoc that the Covid-19 virus and our many other problems are causing. We can’t seem to fix it on our own Lord, that means we desperately need your help. 

Oh heavenly Father, with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat both the virus and the unrest in our streets. So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please help those of us who must go out to work amidst all the confusion, to be responsible and to stay safe, and avoid any more serious setbacks. 

And Lord, we fervently pray that You’ll use this situation to bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, show them the error of their ways. And please introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion by the example, we, your faithful believers set. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic and the unrest in the streets as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now, please let’s remember all the stuff we’ve talked about today, and do what it takes to be a true and faithful believer, if we want to see positive changes in our lives and in our world. Much LOVE!

…successfully living for Christ is not easy…but following the guidance of His Holy Spirit…enables us to live right… 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8           

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