Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 (HCSB) ~

Rejoice always!
Pray constantly.
Give thanks in everything,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Don’t stifle the Spirit.
Don’t despise prophecies,
 but test all things.
Hold on to what is good.
Stay away from every kind of evil.

In my role as Assistant Director of the Great Commission Women for our district, one of my job assignments is to be the chairperson of the committee that plans our spring retreat.  Generally, anywhere between 300-330 women and teens converge on the Holiday Inn in Auburn, NY every April.  It's an event I look forward to every year and is fun to plan for. 

Myself and the committee meet in October to go over every detail to make it a special time for the ladies and teen girls that come.  We plan the meals, including special dietary needs, line up the speakers, meet with hotel staff, plan out the special touches that are needed in anticipation for that weekend.  It's a lot of work, not just that day we meet with the hotel staff, but throughout the following months leading up to the retreat. However, we run through our checklists and we are prepared.  The ladies enjoy a special weekend, not realizing all the work that went into it.

We are told earlier in chapter five of 1 Thessalonians that Christ's return is imminent and we do not know the day he will return.  But we are promised that He is coming!  Then Paul gives us a checklist of things to do to be prepared. 

As you read through the list, how are you doing in preparation for that event?

  • Are you praying constantly?  And not just a few popcorn prayers thrown up here or there.  Is your life a constant prayer of communion with the Lord?

  • Do you give thanks in everything or do you do grumble and complain?

  • Are you stifling the Spirit?  If you feel the Spirit leading you to do something, do you listen or do you ignore that still small voice?

  • Do you check what you hear against scripture?  If it lines up, do you still sneer at a new thought or idea or are you open to the things of the Spirit?

  • Do you cling to the good things?  Do you fill your eyes, ears and minds with good things?  Or are your reading materials, thoughts, and what you view questionable?  Garbage in; garbage out!

  • Are you staying away from evil?  That may mean a change of friends, environment or habits.

Let's be prepared to meet the Lord when He returns.  Because when we are well-prepared that will be an event we can look forward to with great joy and anticipation!