40 Days of Increase | Day 19
—by Pastor Don Weeks, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church
How is your physical health? Would you consider yourself to be in good shape? How about your mental health, and your spiritual health? Is everything running in tip-top shape?
In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 5, we have a rapid-fire list of instructions. The Holy Spirit inspired Paul, and he diligently wrote this letter, which has been divinely preserved for us as believers to read and obey today:
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 Rejoice evermore.  Pray without ceasing.  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  Quench not the Spirit.  Despise not prophesyings.  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  Abstain from all appearance of evil.  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
If the “very God of peace” is sanctifying you “wholly,” and God is preserving your “whole spirit and soul and body blameless,” I would say you are in good shape. This is no doubt the epitome of health.
Let’s look at that list again. (By the way, if you need a good study, why not read and meditate on the entire chapter of 1 Thessalonians 5? There is a ton of encouragement and instruction there. Read it, and live it all, if you want even more health to your spirit and body and soul.)
1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice evermore. What a great God we have. He commands us to rejoice! He knows that we should. He knows it is right. After all, He is our God and has provided us with this precious life. He has allowed access to Himself through His Son. Christ is increased in our lives when we rejoice in Him. In all eternity we will rejoice. We might as well begin rejoicing evermore right this very moment, even in the midst of the difficulties of this life. When we do rejoice in Christ, we strengthen our mental health, our spiritual health, and even our physical health. After all,
Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing. Here’s the verse whose reference is longer than the actual verse! The instructions for peace of mind are surprisingly short. Pray and keep on praying. Keep those lines of communication open with God. Turn every worry into a prayer.
If you and I could master this, it would revolutionize our lives! Our mind never stops. It is always cranking out thoughts. If someone cuts us off in traffic, we could either think evil thoughts, or pray. We should pray that God would help us to control ourselves and keep us safe while we drive. We could even pray blessing on the other driver, which is good practice for us to obey Christ when he says,
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
If we would turn our worries, complaints, and other thoughts into prayers, we would eliminate a lot of mental clutter in our head. We would definitely pray more, and Christ would be glorified in our mind and spirit. This would cut down on mental stress and even this would have a positive effect on your overall health.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Wow! Isn’t the Bible amazing? So God wants us to rejoice, pray, and give thanks. I hear the birds singing outside in the early morning as I write this. I must give thanks to Jesus.
I hear your creation praising you this morning.
I pause to give you thanks.
Thank you for life.
Thank you for another day.
Thank you for telling me to rejoice.
Thank you for reminding me to pray without ceasing.
Thank you for showing me your will.
Thank you for increasing in my life today.
I praise you and I thank you!
In Jesus’ Name.
Your practical task
- Consider the rest of this list 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 and write down your thoughts for each of the four verses.
- Don’t forget to write out Colossian 3:16. Can you say it from memory yet? Try it!
1 Thessalonians 5:19-24 Quench not the Spirit.  Despise not prophesyings.  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  Abstain from all appearance of evil.  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
Have an awesome and inspired day in Christ.
HE MUST INCREASE
He Must Increase, Antioch’s theme for 2017, taken from John 3:30. The devotions explore this theme and how Jesus must increase in our lives, other’s lives, and in the homes, churches and nations of the entire world.
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