Greetings in the Peace and Grace of Jesus Christ! I give thanks to God for you and your families!

Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” As we enter into this season of thanksgiving, we are reminded to give thanks to God, for all God has done, is doing and plans to do in our lives. Sometimes we look around and see how others are being blessed and are tempted to become jealous or envious. However, we often have no knowledge of the time, money, work, sacrifices, blood, sweat, tears and prayers, that have gone into someone else’s achievements.

In the above passage of Scripture, Paul invites us to do three things. First, we are to rejoice always. When we are joyful for what God is doing in our lives, we can be happy and glad for others, when God blesses them. Additionally, joy is foundational for living, surviving and making it through some tough and challenging valleys in life, so we can get to the mountaintops. “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10).

The second invitation is to pray without ceasing. A regular and consistent prayer life is important in our walk with Christ. When we regularly communicate with God, we remain in God’s presence and learn the will of God. We discover answers to our prayers are done for our good and God’s glory. As we consistently seek, listen to, and obey God, the power we receive increases. “The prayer of the righteous person is powerful in what it can achieve.” (James 5:16 -CEB)

Finally, Paul tells us to give thanks in everything. Thanksgiving is vital and life-giving in our relationship with God. It bears witness and testimony to our faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We are to give thanks in and for everything, including: the “good”, the “bad”, the “ugly”, the “big” and the “small”. When we are grateful, we let God know that we put our trust, faith and hope in Christ, our Redeemer. “…The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” (Psalm 84:11)

This thanksgiving season, let us examine our lives, “rejoice always, pray without ceasing and in everything give thanks.”  Here are a few things we can rejoice, pray and be thankful for; life, health food (our teenage son is always thankful for this), family, transportation, shelter, love, grace, and mercy, but most of all our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Take time this Thanksgiving Day to count your blessings and give thanks. Happy Thanksgiving to all from me and my family!!!

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Jackie