Rejoice always

Daily Prayer – 22 June

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Thanks in All Circumstances

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

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Heavenly Father, Thank you for Your amazing power and work in our lives, thank you for Your goodness and for Your blessings over us. Thank you that You are able to bring hope through even the toughest of times, strengthening us for Your purposes. I thanks for Your great love and care. Your mercy and grace are boundless. You are always with us and will never leave us.

Your incredible sacrifice is so significant that we have freedom and life. Forgive us for when we don’t thank you enough, for who You are, for all that You do, for all that You’ve given. Help us to set our eyes and our hearts on You afresh. Renew our spirits, fill us with Your peace and joy. We love You and we need You, this day and every day. We give You praise and thanks, for You alone are worthy! In Jesus Name, Amen.

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I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;

I will sing the name of the Lord Most High.

Psalm 7:17

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Daily Prayer – 20 June

Advertisements For great is your love toward me;    you have delivered me from the depths,    from the realm of the dead. Psalm 86:13 Heavenly Father, may nothing separate us from You today. Teach us how to choose only Your way today so each step will lead us closer to You. Help us walk by the Word and notContinue reading →

Daily Prayer – 21 June

Advertisements A weary heart 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 Heavenly Father,Continue reading →

Daily Prayer – 19 June

Advertisements So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us inContinue reading →

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Posted by Stephen Baragwanath in Daily Prayer, 0 comments

Encouragement during COVID-19 lockdown

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Move from idleness to encouragement

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it on the seas
    and established it on the waters.
Psalm 24:1-2

My hope today is that you will benefit deeply from this post, during these difficult and unprecedented times, as it points you toward hope, toward the Lord, and you experience the trials – and opportunities – of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis wherever you are in the world.

The first time Paul travelled to Thessalonica he was met with strong opposition. A mob of bad characters started to riot the city in search of Paul (Acts 17:5).  This mob was so set on destruction that they chased after Paul when he travelled to Berea. 

Life in Thessalonica was especially dangerous for a Christian. But still, in spite of the imminent danger, the church continued to grow, Paul still sent Timothy to watch over and care for the church in Thessalonica. Actually, a better way to phrase it is in light of the danger, Paul writes:14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:14-18) 

It would have been easier for Christians to hide quietly, in secret and ride out the danger. It would have been easy for the church to succumb to the dangers Thessalonica faced.  It would have been easy for Christians to lay low quietly, secretly, ride out the danger. 

The dangers and fears facing Thessalonica are perhaps similar to the dangers and fears facing the world today, not just with COVID-19 9 (Coronavirus), but in general too.  When lock down restrictions in your country are lifted, whether gradually or instantaneously, many of us may fear going out, many of us may fear to gather with people at church, attend social events or even have a family get together.  We may fear going back to the workplace. We may fear contact with other people completely. Some of us may choose to draw our curtains closed and barricade ourselves in our homes in hopes of avoiding the virus altogether. Should this happen, there is certainly the danger of us becoming idle. Even during lock down, there is the danger of becoming idle. We could start eating unhealthily, binge-watching TV series and movies, obsessing over news articles and becoming disconnected from the larger body of Christ.

Yet, despite the testing of any hope by an outbreak of death (1 Thessalonians 4:13), the Thessalonians were called to open their curtains and let light in. They were called to walk ahead of outsiders (1 Thessalonians 4:12) so that the Gospel could manifest. They were called to not be moved by afflictions (1 Thessalonians 3:3), but instead to encourage one another, to help the weak, and above all to be patient and persistent in encouragement and prayer.  

We are also called to do this. People are afraid. Every day the numbers of those affected are growing higher. Countries are on lock down, which means movement restrictions and social distancing.  We aren’t allowed to visit family and friends or go to work. This creates fear! Remember, Christians are called to generate faith, not fear! So instead of fuelling the fear fire, fuel the faith fire –  who can you encourage today? Who can you strengthen today? Who can you seek to do good for today? As needs arise, so do opportunities.  You too, like the Thessalonians, can rejoice (1 Thessalonians 5:16), pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:16) for it is God’s will that you are here, it is God’s will we find ourselves in this situation, it is God’s will for “the reason for this season”. “For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus” for you.” So, put down the news articles. Close your laptop. Get off the couch. Get off your phone. Change out of your pyjamas and find someone you can bless. Start creating new and good habits that you continue when this season is over.

23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-25

Rejoicing in hope and praying with you all.

Posted by Stephen Baragwanath, 4 comments