Thankful Thursday is a weekly column where I post what I am thankful about that week, and you have the opportunity (via your blog linked into this post OR via a comment on this blog) to share your thankful thought for the week.
I took a week off from Thankful Thursday last week since I was chasing around twins. But I’m back at it this week, and it’s a two-for-one special to get caught up – Thankful Thursday with a bit of Devotions Thursday thrown in for free!
This week I am very thankful for God’s Word being alive and always speaking in a new and different way. And I am specifically thankful for Paul. I love his style of writing – it is so easy for me to understand, study, break down, and apply to my life.
I have been in 1 Corinthians lately, and I got to chapters 15 and 16 where he is wrapping the book up. I love his wrap-ups to books because he is always sure to put a couple verses of instruction in there – the “if you don’t get anything else from this letter, do this” stuff. I love the direct, black and white, no fluff stuff.
At the end of 1 Corinthians, he does this in 15:58, then goes into some wrap-up greet so-and-so stuff, then decides to get in a couple more instructions in 16:13-14. Here are his two sets of “don’t miss this” instructions:
15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. . . 16:13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.
He gives eight directives in those three verses for the purpose of helping the Corinthian people (and us) live their lives according to God’s will while Paul is not with them to disciple them. I had the dates in my bible of the last time I studied these verses, so I went back to my 2006 notebook and found my notes. They spoke to me all over again, and since I am thankful for them, I thought I would share them.
on 15:58 –
1. Stand firm
2. Let nothing move you
3. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord
Why do these things? –> Because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
we are to stand firm, let nothing move us, and give ourselves fully to the Lord because our labor is not in vain – God promises in Isaiah 55:11 that His Word will not return void – He is accomplishing His purposes! So even though we may not be able to see any results from our ministry or work for the Lord, or maybe we see results but they aren’t what we had hoped for, we should not be discouraged!! Our work is not in vain, and we shouldn’t judge the progress or the produce of our work – God is in charge of that and He will achieve His purposes through us AND in spite of us!
and here are my notes to myself on 16:13-14:
1. Be on your guard – be alert, never becoming indifferent, lazy, or careless. Be on your guard with the intake of your heart and the output of your heart. What are you letting in and what are you letting out? Never act like the world; You are Holy and set apart – if you act like the world, you will quickly get sucked into the world and become a part of it.
2. Stand firm in the faith – Do not waiver, do not experiment, do not test the waters of sin. Continually grow in Your knowledge of God’s Word and in your relationship with Him so that Your faith is strengthened and steady! Stand for what you believe; don’t shy away or be too scared of the consequences to hide the light!
3. Be men (and women!) of courage – Don’t be fearful, don’t fret, don’t let anxiety creep in. Look at the road ahead with excitement and boldness, remembering that God created that road perfectly for you! Courageously accept the portion that God has given you, knowing that it is for a reason!
4. Be Strong – Do not be pulled down by the trappings of this world, or by Satan. Take a stand, set boundaries, and refuse to cross them!! There are temptations EVERYWHERE and everything is made to look good, ok, sexy, and fun. Don’t be fooled! Satan is very good at making things look good that are really death and destruction!
5. Do everything in Love – Love God and love others. Choose them over yourself, in that order. It is really easy to get really selfish really quick – before you even realize it has happened! Don’t forget that you are not the center of the universe, but you are simply a child of God!
I am SO thankful that God can speak through His Word over and over and over again, and it is new and fresh every single time! I hope this was encouraging to you as it was to me.
OK – your turn!! What are you thankful for today? Leave it in a comment, or if you have a blog, write a post on your blog and link it in with Mr. Linky (at the bottom of this post), and you can have the pleasure of welcoming my wonderful readers to your site!
To use Mr. Linky to link to your blog, just type in your name in the first slot, then copy and paste the URL of your blog post in the second one and click “Enter” – then there will be a link to your post from my blog! ***be sure to put the link to your actual “Thankful Thursday” post – not just your main blog URL.***