1 Timothy 6:7-8 True Contentment

“For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” 1 Timothy 6:7-8

Being content is something that every person has struggled with since Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve had the entire Garden of Eden for their use, all the trees, fruits, and animals, yet, they wanted the one fruit and thing that they were forbidden to have. They were not content with have all the rest, they wanted more.

To this day, people strive to get more and more. They want bigger, better, faster, and newer everything. There is never enough. Paul points out that a person cannot bring anything in or out of this world. Babies are not born with money, cars, clothes, or anything else. When a person dies, there is no U-Haul behind them hauling their things to the grave, he cannot take anything with him.

What does a person need in reality? Shelter, food, and clothing. If you have a roof over your head, one meal, and one pair of clothes, you have everything you need. You can only eat one meal at a time. You can only wear one set of clothes at a time. You can only sleep in one place at a time. Why do you need more?

If you have more than one meal in your possession, more than one pair of clothing, and a place to sleep with a roof, you have more wealth than most of the world.

The world tries to tell you that you must have more or else you are a failure. God looks at the heart. Is your heart content with God? Does your value rest with God or with things? If you are content with God, then you will not be a failure and you will not desire all those things. You will be content.

Living in poverty does not bring contentment or godliness. It is trusting in God and being content in Him that does.

God can provide all that you need and more. Do you trust Him to do so? Or will you look to things?

I pray today that God will reveal to you how much He has blessed you; that you will seek to be content in Jesus only; that you will give thanks to God for all that you have; and that you will not seek wealth or things, but only Jesus.

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1 Thessalonians 2:9-10 Believing Lies

“The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” 1 Thessalonians 2:9-10

Many books have been written on who the lawless one is or could be. I will not discuss this at all here. Let’s look at what he will do.

Paul says he will display many great signs and wonders. People love to see signs and wonders. They want to know that a person has some power. They want to see someone who can make things happen. Even Jesus showed some signs and wonders when He walked in Israel.

The difference is that the signs and wonders of the lawless one, or anyone of the world, is that they serve to support the lie. What is the “lie”? It is that man does not need God. It is that man has all the power in himself to do whatever he wants.

Whether the lawless one is here or not, this type of deception is going on all the time, all over the place. People everywhere are being deceived into believing that they do not need God and that they can do what they want. It is their own freedom. They are buying into the lie.

The reason they are believing the lie is that they refuse to believe the truth. The truth is Jesus. Remember that He said He is the way, the truth and the life.

Many, even in the church, are accepting the lies being told everywhere. Lies that a person can live like they want and still be Christian. Lies that a person can do whatever they want and that man is all-powerful. Many churches have accepted the world’s policy that anything goes, anything is good.

In the end times people will call evil good, and good will be called evil. This is what is happening today.

Are you believing in the lie? Or are you believing in the truth–Jesus?

Do not allow yourself to be deceived, believe in Jesus today.

I pray today that you will know Jesus in a personal way; that God will open your eyes to the lies of this world; that you will not be deceived; that God will guide you by His Holy Spirit; and that you will be His light of truth in this world.

2 Thessalonians 1:12 Is Jesus Glorified In You?

“We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 1:12

Paul had just finished telling the people that he was praying that God would make them worthy of His calling. This is being worthy of being called a Christian or a believer in Jesus. The purpose of this was not for self-gratification or to be looked at as someone important or great. It was so that the name of Jesus may be glorified in their lives and that He may glorify them.

Jesus was given a name that is above all other names. It is this way because there is no other name by which people can be saved from their sins. Only through belief in Jesus and what He has done can bring salvation and eternal life for a person.

In the workplace, the boss is honored when his workers are doing an excellent job, or going above and beyond the basic job description. When a worker does an outstanding job, the business looks good. It reflects on the principles the business wants as a whole.

In this same way, your life reflects the principles of Jesus. The way you seek to love others and treat them right, reflects the love of Jesus. The way you witness to others about Jesus, reflects how Jesus wants to reach every person. The way you turn away from sinful acts, reflects on how Jesus turns from sin.

Jesus has given you His grace and mercy. Are you living in that grace and mercy? Are you passing that grace and mercy on to others?

Not every person who claims to believe in Jesus is bringing glory to Jesus. They are living their life as the world does.

Would Jesus be proud of the way you are talking or acting?

This is what His being glorified in you means. He is lifted up, honored. This is not to look good for yourself, but to honor what Jesus has done for you.

I pray today that God will make you worthy of the calling He has given you; that Jesus will be glorified in everything you do; that you will live your life for Jesus; and that you will be glorified in Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice, Pray, Give Thanks

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

As Paul is closing out his first letter to the Thessalonian church, he gives a few quick lines of what to do or not to do. One of these is to rejoice, pray, and give thanks for every situation.

It is easy for most people, even those in the world, to rejoice when things are going great in their life. Some will give thanks for the things for when things are going great. Only a few will continue to pray when things are going great.

When things are going good for you, you must remember that it is God who brought about the good things in your life. Rejoice in the fact that He loves you and gave you good things; pray that you will use them correctly; and give thanks for what He has blessed you with.

Now for the bad things in your life. Most people will pray when things are going bad for them, but most will not rejoice or give thanks for what is happening.

Read the book of Acts and see how the disciples rejoiced when they were persecuted. They counted it a joy to suffer for Jesus.

You may not be getting persecuted physically, but satan and the world is out to get you. Satan wants to try and get you to sin against God. God will allow things to break down, or go wrong to see if you will trust Him through it.

These things will happen to cause you to lean on Him more and more. They will happen to make you more like Jesus. Paul had gone through many bad things continually and yet He still rejoiced, prayed, and gave thanks to God.

Whether things are going great or bad for you, rejoice in the fact that God loves you and is saving you. Pray that God will strengthen you through the situation and use you to reach others for Jesus. Give thanks that God is making you more like Jesus and supplying all of your needs.

Everything that happens to you, both good and bad, is all a part of God’s plan for you life. Accept it.

I pray today that you will give God praise and thanks for everything; that God will reveal His purpose for events in your life; that God will make you more like Jesus; and that you will pray continually.

1 Thessalonians 5:8 Be Sober

“But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.” 1 Thessalonians 5:8

Paul starts talking about the time when Jesus is to return to bring everyone who believes in Him to heaven. Some of the people were concerned about that time, because they did not know when it would happen and did not want to miss it. He points out that every believer is not a child of the light and are to live in the light. Here he states that they should be sober.

Bad things happen in the dark. It is in the dark that a person hits his toe on a piece of furniture. It is in the dark that most crimes happen. It is also in the dark when people tend to get drunk on alcohol.

Believers are to live in the light and be sober. The light is the light of Jesus and God’s Word. The Bible tells a person how to live correctly for God.

Being sober is being in the right mind. When people get drunk on alcohol, they start to do things that they would not normally do. They will act in ways that are bad, making very bad choices. They will say things that later they regret when told about them. They will not even remember many things that they did.

You are to live your life focused on Jesus. Not being in the darkness and doing things that are wrong. Putting on faith and love will protect your heart from wrong. The faith is that Jesus has saved you. The love is the love for Jesus and for others. When you have both of these, you will not want to do any wrong to anyone or to God.

You are also to have the hope of salvation that Jesus is providing. You will know that you are being saved. You will know that one day you will be by Jesus side in heaven for all of eternity.

Are you sober today? Are you living for Jesus or for the world?

Wake up and live for Jesus. It will be worth it all.

I pray today that you will live in the light of Jesus; that you will be sober in your life and make the right choices for God; that God will fill you with His love for Jesus and others; that you will have faith in Jesus; that you will know the hope of His salvation for you; and that you will be His light in this world.

1 Thessalonians 4:17 Future Hope

“After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” 1 Thessalonians 4:17

The time of Paul was very close after the time of Jesus leaving the earth. The early church had believed the words of Jesus that He would return soon. Some were concerned about those who died. Paul says that when Jesus returns all the dead shall be raised. After that everyone who is still alive and serving Him shall be received with them to live forever with Jesus in heaven.

Everyone loves to look forward to something good that is going to happen. Seniors in school, whether high school or college, look forward to graduating soon. Those in the military look forward to getting out when their time in service is up. Workers, who have worked the same job for many years, look forward to retiring as it gets closer.

Having these things to look forward to gives people hope and strength to keep going forward. The challenges that they face in getting to that point suddenly have more meaning and value.

As a believer, you have a future hope that is greater than any graduation or retirement on this earth. You have the hope of eternity with Jesus and His Father in heaven, the Ones who made it possible. You have the hope of perfect life and health. No more sorrow, pain, sickness, or suffering will be in your future.

Along with all this great stuff, you will also be able to be with all those who have died before Jesus returns. All your loved ones in your family line who followed Jesus before you and died will be there. All the people who helped lead you to Jesus and have passed on, will be there.

This should give you great hope and joy today. Know and understand the future you have. Encourage yourself and others with these words. You have a bright future ahead if you stay with Jesus through everything.

I pray today that God will give you a vision of your future; that you will know the salvation Jesus offers you; that you will be encouraged to live for Jesus today; that you will not fear the future; and that God will draw many to Jesus through you.

1 Thessalonians 4:1 Live To Please God

“As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1

Paul commended the people of the Thessalonian church that they were living in a way to please God. He then encourages them to do this more and more. They were not to stop striving to please God.

There are people out there that when they look at all of the ways that God wants a person to live and the perfection He is looking for, they don’t want to even try to live for God. Many will start out living for God and striving to please Him, only to give up later.

People often give up, because it is, in reality, impossible to become perfect for God…on their own. They look at all of their faults and say they cannot do it, which is true, on their own. It is only when they rest in Jesus, trust in the power of Jesus, that they can become more like Jesus.

It is in the aiming for, striving to please God, that God finds pleasure. If you are aiming for perfection, just to be perfect, you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Your goal in life should be to please God.

Are you being a witness for Jesus?

Are you loving others? Including your enemies?

Are you serving others? Including your enemies?

Are you forgiving everyone?

Are you spending time with God?

Are you turning away from sin?

These and many other things are ways to please God. You may already be doing many or all of these things. That is great! Now Paul is saying do it more and more.

Keep working at pleasing God. Do everything as though you are doing it to and for God. Seek His Holy Spirit to give yo the strength and wisdom in what to do and how to do it. Living like this in the end will get you the “well done good and faithful servant”.

I pray today that God will reveal what He wants you to do; that your actions will please God; that your thoughts will be pleasing to God; that your heart will strive to please God; and that God will draw many to Jesus through you.