The first of these short verses can only be true if we are joyful Christians.  We can so easily become distracted by things and forget that life is all about Christ and our relationship with Him.  Remember Christ's words to Martha (Luke 10:41) where she was rebuked when Jesus said, "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things."   

When it comes to rejoicing evermore, I need something to rejoice in.  What can be more than our promise of complete forgiveness of sins and the hope of heaven?  If this is our hope, why do I have to be downhearted?   We truly have something to rejoice evermore in!  Now the verse:  "Pray without ceasing."  troubles me.  It is so easy not to pray or forget that we have an advocate with the Father.  Without ceasing does not mean we are on our knees in a position of constant prayer.  I have bad knees so I couldn't do that anyway.  I believe the true meaning of this verse is a heart attitude.  When a need arises, do I first think of going to God in prayer....or do I try to work things out in my own effort?  I envy people who are known as 'prayer warriors.'  I had a book called "Praying Hyde--Apostle of Prayer" which I read many years ago.  I would love to reread it again, but have either misplaced it or at one point in time given it away.   


"Now in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (vs 18).  I may have egg on my face in this too for I know I fall short of doing this.  "Quench not the spirit."  (vs. 19). If the Spirit wants to do something through me, I am not to resist.  "Despise not
prophesyings." (vs. 20).  I must be careful what someone says for the Lord.  "To prove all things" means I must know enough to know what is right or wrong.  This means knowing the Scriptures.  We have a wonderful book of truth.  The Thessalonians did not have the complete New Testament as we do today.  We must learn deference towards fellow Christians and not offend them by doing something that they may consider wrong even if we have the grace to do it.



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