February 23, 2016 – I Thessalonians 5:16-18

IThessalonians5-16-18Always be full of joy. Never stop praying. Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus.  I Thessalonians 5:16-18How can a person be full of joy and thankful, no matter what happens?  Suppose your toy gets broken, or you skin your knee…?  It might be hard to be thankful and full of joy when you are hurting inside or outside!Yet, when hurting turns you to praying for healing, to ease the hurt, then you have turned to the Healer.  Jesus is the one that heals the little and big hurts.  He heals the inside and the outside hurts.  Why does Jesus do this?  Because He loves you.  He is your friend.Can your ‘owie’ heal without Jesus?  Yes, but it is easier when you have someone who loves Jesus to pray with you and for you.  They teach you to love like Jesus loves.  No matter how many birthdays we have, we all need someone to pray with us, love us and teach us to live peacefully with each other.  Sometimes we call those who help us know Jesus an Encourager or a Cheerleader.Through Jesus, we know God.  Through our leader’s help, we know Jesus in our hearts.  We see the One who came to earth to save us from the sins that hurt us inside.  Why should we always be filled with joy?  Because we know Jesus who gives us hope and peace and joy.  When we belong to Jesus, He heals us.  Inside and Out.  That is true joy.Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.  I Thessalonians 5:12-13