Devotionals
  
(All scripture is in King James version) 
 
NEW BOOK! 2 THESSALONIANS
After Paul's greeting, he the tell the church that he thanks God for their growing faith and love for the saints. He tells them he is proud of them for their going through so much tribulation and for standing strong in faith!
 
2Th 1:3 "We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; 4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
 
He knows of their persecution and from others who are trying to get them to follow the law or to follow some idol and worship it in some way. He tells them that they will be taken care of by God and shall never see the glory of the Lord Jesus!
5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
 
Just know that Jesus will come and be glorified in His saints and that God would count YOU worthy because YOU believed the gospel!
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. 11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: 12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." 
 
Let the name of JESUS be Glorified in YOU because YOU are IN CHRIST!!! 
 

REJOICE, PRAY AND GIVE THANKS!!! 
Paul ends this letter with encouraging words and practical things to do.   
1Th 5:16 Rejoice evermore.
We should always rejoice in the Lord, in other words when thinking of the Lord we should be so grateful thankful and excited for we have eternal Life through Jesus!!! 
 
17 Pray without ceasing. 
We should continually and never stop. We don't have set times as Israel or other religions oh No we can pray to God anytime! We should give thanks tot the Lord and for others in Christ as well as pray for the lost!
 
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
As said above ne thankful. A thankful heart is a content heart and not a striving, anxious heart. Be content in Christ alone and everything else will seem small. 
 
19 Quench not the Spirit.
Don't quench the spirit by walking after the flesh. Allow the Spirit to work in your life and allow the Spirit to open your mind to what the scripture have to say. 
 
 
20 Despise not prophesyings.
Prophesy today means teaching and we should be teachable. One of the things I look for in people that come to me is a teachable heart. Do they want to be taught or do they already know it all! 
 
 
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
We should know what is right and if there is a question prove it out by the word or in time. Notice it says to abstain from the appearance of evil, it doesn't have to be evil to appear evil. An Example might help, I have singles saying, " I spent the night over at my girlfriends house last night, but we didn't sleep together"! Most of the time that is not true but either way it appears like you did!  
 
 
23 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. 24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. 25 Brethren, pray for us.
We are already sanctified in Spirit which means set apart in Holiness, but our soul which is our mind-will and emotions as well as our body are to be as we renew our minds. A day will come when our whole Spirit, soul and Body will be also! This also proves we a re trichotomy (3) and not a dichotomy (2) person as so many churches teach. It also gives us the understanding of we can be saved and still sin as well as OSAS!!! 
 
 
26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss. 27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Spend time with one another and read the word and be one with likeminded saints!
So, Rejoice, Pray and be Thankful!!! 

Authority and ministry! 
Sadly, authority is challenged in every way these days. Parents are challenged more and more, and disrespect is shown to police, teachers, government officials and even pastors.  
1Th 5:12 "And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; 13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men."
 
Paul says we should respect those that teach the word and are over them for their works sake. We should really respect everyone even if we disagree. That means not showing malice, calling them names or attacking them. We can separate and disassociate from them, but we do not need to be rude or nasty toward them. I see a lot of disrespect on social media especially and it is easy to do as not one is there to say stop.
 
The leaders are to minister but Paul says that everyone is to minister. All of are to be at peace and warn the unruly meaning those who cause trouble and cause undo separation especially in doctrine.  We all are to comfort the feebleminded and comfort the weak and be patient with all which goes back to what I was saying before when it comes to respect.
 
We all are to minister and do what is good and not just to those on our local church but to unbelievers as well. Respect authority and minster to all when possible!

BE AWAKE, AWARE AND COMFORTED! 
So many folks today and sadly even those who claim to be believers party like unbelievers with no concern for the coming Lord Jesus. They drink like any other non-believer without a care for spiritual things and they live a material, fleshly, earthly lifestyle. I know people who are in ministry that drink like no big deal and live their life like grace gives them a license to sin.
1Th 5:1 'But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do."
 
Paul tells us to sober minded which means to be serious and not silly or to be circumspectly which means watchful, cautious and alert. We should always be AWARE and AWAKE to what is going on around us in all areas of life. Spiritually, mentally and physically as well as globally, politically and financially in this world! 
 
We are children of light and so we should shine that light to this lost world. You can't do that if you are drunk and carousing around at night. We should stop and really think what we are doing and what it looks like after all you wouldn't want your kids or grandkids thinking it is ok to do whatever you want, whenever you want while disregarding Jesus would you?
 
We should be comforted in the fact that we are not of this world and that we will not go through that great tribulation and see the wrath of God. We want to edify one another which means build up each other in faith and always stay awake and aware of your thoughts as well as this world. 

RAPTURE! 
The words "Caught up" is called "Rapture" in Latin. It is used to mean the time when the saints of this age will be "caught up" with Christ in the clouds, so that the tribulation period can begin. It is the time of God's wrath and dealing with the nation of Israel on an earthly and kingdom basis.
1Th 4:13 "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
 
The Rapture is real, and it will be a Grand day for all who know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. The dispensation of grace will be over and usher in the end times also known as the Ages to Come period. 
 
We should comfort one another as we will be with our Lord and miss the wrath to come. It is a peaceful time to celebrate and look forward too! 
 
Don't let those who do not believe sway you in this GREAT DAY IN CHRIST! 

INCREASE MORE AND MORE!!! 
Paul tells the church to increase more and more as he has said before that we should abound in everything. Faith, hope, and love as well as grace and understanding and we get all this from reading the word and staying in prayer with our Lord.
1Th 4:9 "But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. 10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; 11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; 12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing."
 
Paul knows of their love for others and praises them for it and then tells them to work hard and mind their own business. Evidently, they had a problem with gossip or perhaps not working as this is in Greece home of the philosophers who just sat around doing nothing but talking about some new philosophy!
 
He encouraged them to walk honestly and supply their own needs so that they could help others in their needs. This is why we should work to support ourselves and to help others. We can minister by giving in many different ways. Prayer, time and give financially can be the things we can do along with food, clothing, vehicles and shelter are just some ways we can minister to others. 
 
Keep reading and studying the Word and stay in prayer and relationship with Jesus daily and grow in grace, faith and love! 

DEFRAUD NOT! 
Defraud means to take advantage or gain by taken advantage of another! It means just as it does in the financial world to take something that isn't yours as in defraud a bank or a person of their money. But this passage deals with defrauding someone by fornication meaning sex outside of marriage which is ONLY between a man and women. It is taking something that does not belong to them from the other person. The male takes the body of the female when it is not his as it belongs to God and to the women.
1Th 4:1 "Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. 2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: 6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. 7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit."
 
There is another passage that deals with defrauding, but it is "Within" marriage. That means to not give of ourselves to the other IN marriage. This too is to cheat, take advantage of and to be selfish and withhold from the other.
1Co 7:4 "The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency." 
 
We are to give and receive not defraud one another. We are to love one another and to want to satisfy one another as much as possible in all areas of life. Mentally and emotionally as well as verbally and yes physically to the best of our abilities. Now the only one who can satisfy the Spiritual area is the Lord Jesus yet there is an element that we can still help the other grow spiritually by encouraging them in some way in faith. Reading, studying and praying with them can be a way of helping them in this area.
 
We have an epidemic of sexual behavior and living in all kinds of perverted ways today. While it has always been, it didn't become accepted as accepted behavior until it was passed by Law in the U.S. President Obama allowed this to happened and now, we have the perversion it has caused to an even greater extent. There is homosexuality and transsexuality along with polygamy which is making a comeback and Utah has now accepted. You would also think that fornication would be an issue with the younger generation only, but I know seniors who sleep or live together outside of marriage. This is no difference based just because of your age or if you want to keep your former spouses "check" coming in as it is still sin before God!
 
This one subject alone is worthy of much more than just a devotion, and I hope you can understand the enormous problem we have today. Pray for those who call themselves believers and sleep or live together to get married or break up. Pray for the perversion in the LGBTQ community to repent and come to the Lord. Pray that you too may not defraud or spouse or if not married to not defraud others. The LUST for LOVE is hard but GOD IS LOVE so receive from Him and be satisfied!
 
 

Perfect what is lacking! 
Paul wanted to see the church and spend time with them. He wanted to teach and give them more understanding of sound doctrine. He wanted to share more of Christ and to edify them in any area that was lacking in their faith. 
1Th 3:9 "For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God; 10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith? 11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. 12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: 13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints."
 
I know believers who think they do not need anyone to teach them or to go to some fellowship or listen to anyone because in their mind all they need is the Word and Christ. But that is not true and certainly is not what Paul says here is it. Paul says he would come and perfect what was lacking or whatever they didn't know or understand. 
 
All of us lack some understanding of ourselves. We all need the body to point out our attitudes or sins or help with doctrine. Most of us think we are right in most things but really, we can be off in many things we do. This is why the Body functions the way it does and why we need the Body to minister to one another. We have 3 things to help us grow and often times we don't do 2 of them. 1. the Spirit which we should listen too but don't! 2. the Word of God which we don't read or understand or again don't listen too! 3. lastly the Body of Christ that speaks when we don't do the first 2!
 
The Body is a spiritual organism that is alive and moves throughout the church and the world. It works to bring salvation to the lost and healing to those who are saved. Healing in every area of life. There are 7 areas of life, and all are important. They are the spiritual, phycological and physical areas as well as the financial, social, marital and parental areas. All of these areas can be addressed by the Spirit, the Word and the Body of Christ!
 
Paul prayed that they would abound more and more in love toward one another and that takes time and work. So many believers just visit one church than another and never really settle into one fellowship. Of course, right doctrine is important but once that is settled than we should stay put and begin to "love" one another. It takes years to develop a church and relationships and if we keep moving around you never get to know people well enough to give or receive from them.
 
Loving one another should never be mistaken for hugs and kisses alone. Loving someone is caring enough to tell them when they are wrong and teaching them how-to live-in Christ along with encouraging them to walk by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ! 

STAND FAST IN THE LORD! 
Paul's greatest concern for the church was their faith! Were they Standing in the Lord! 
1Th 3:1 "Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone; 2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith: 3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. 4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. 5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain. 6 But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you: 7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: 8 For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord."
 
Paul sent Timothy to check and see how they were doing, and the report was good.  Timothy was to establish in other words teach, edify and build them up in Christ. Timothy was to remind them of the revelation of the mystery and of the sound doctrine they had learned from Paul's ministry. He was to comfort them as they were being persecuted also and to bring comfort to them by means of following Christ no matter what the problem was. 
 
You too want to "STAND FAST" which means to "STAY STRONG" and "UNMOVABLE IN FAITH AND IN CHRIST"! 
Don't be wishy washy as so many today are, and be faithful to God, to the Body and serve others. Stop trying to find a church that serves you but rather were you can serve others. Stand in the right doctrine and don't be entangled with law and false doctrine.  Serve the Lord with all your heart and love others as you have been loved.

You are our Glory and Joy! 
Paul tells the church that they are His glory and joy because they are in Christ! 
1Th 2:16 "Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost. 17 But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire. 18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? 20 For ye are our glory and joy."
 
And once again Paul mentions the word wrath coming upon those who do not know Jesus and then he says 
"Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?..." 
meaning that we will be with the Lord when He comes and will take those who are His from this earth and will protect them from the wrath to come.
 
1 Thes is about the coming of Christ and we who are saved should so look forward to it.
 
Paul also so loved the saints that he always wanted to see them face to face. He wanted to spend time teaching them and getting to know that he may impart so spiritual gift to them. That he could give them some wisdom or help in whatever way he could. 
 
We too should desire to give and minister with and to others. Being with likeminded believers is a great joyful time, so spend time with other saints as much as you can. 
Maranatha- Our Lord cometh!

Receive the Word of God! 
Just as the church in Thessalonica received the word of God so ought we.  
1Th 2:13 "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. 14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: 15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men:"
 
They received it as the word of God and not just men giving some new cultish talk. They didn't have the bible as a whole, so they read the letters and heard them preaching the gospel and received it. 
 
We want to position our mind to receive the Word, to study the word and dwell on the word. While teachers and pastors are important, just reading the word daily brings life. Read, study and receive is a good way of dealing with the word and God daily!
 
Most of us will never suffer as they did at that time, but we can suffer in our daily walk if we don't receive it. We can become fleshly, doubting and fearful. We can become more worldly than Godly and seek worldly things instead of spiritual life in Christ. We can end up walking by sight and not by faith.
 
Just one more thing there are many who suffer greatly in the world today for "receiving the word". They are Christians in foreign land that are tortured, jailed and murdered for being believers, so pray for them and be grateful that you were not born in that situation. By the way I have read that those who do suffer for Christ there in these countries don't complain but are glad to be there in that position for they can share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who are lost. They even pray for us here in the freer countries to come to life and share the word of God!
Let us be as brave as they!!!  

Imparted unto our own souls!!! 
Paul says that they were gentle and loving and imparted their own souls meaning they just didn't preach and leave but that they stayed and discipled and cared for them. 
1Th 2:7 "But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: 8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. 9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. 10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: 11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, 12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory."
 
I believe that is one of the most important parts of a pastor and teacher but also of the church in general. We should give our lives to others. We should be willing to invest ourselves in others at the local church. It is not "just" about sharing the gospel and then leaving them alone but exhorting, comforting and relating as a father world do toward his own children, which means to love them until Christ is formed in them and walking worthy of God. 
 
Just like being born is only the first step in life so evangelizing is the first step in discipleship. There is no room for lone rangers in the Body of Christ! So, spend time with others and try to edify, encourage and build in the faith as much as possible when you can. 

Paul's heart for the church! 
Paul shared the gospel and the truth with the church. He wanted nothing from them. He did not seek glory or money or anything else except for their hearts to come to Christ! 
1Th 2:1 "For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: 2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention. 3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: 4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. 5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: 6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ."
 
Sadly, that is not the case today in many of our churches. Mega churches have very charismatic preachers that can make people get excited but generally in the background in the day to day working it is not so great. 
 
We see evangelist and pastors on T.V who only lust for themselves and want people to give to them instead of just leading and teaching the word of God. I once visited a church that the pastor put such a guilt trip on the people it was sickening to listen too. He wanted to raise more funds for a "New" building! I heard a pastor say in a meeting one time when going over the books that he would see the churches lights go out before his ever would at home. In other words, he had better get paid before the church paid the bills.
 
I am so proud and thankful for those bi-vocational pastors and teachers. I am so glad to see the small church pastor who doesn't take a huge salary and uses the church funds for his own needs. I think it is even better if the pastor takes what is given by donation than one who has a set salary only.
 
It is easy to get caught up in worldly possessions or want to grow the church and put everything on a credit card in the name of reaching others for Christ, and then guilting the church to give and give more.... but the leaders, pastors and teachers need to serve first with the right heart and motives! Let us have the heart of Christ and of Paul and share the gospel regardless of any financial gain.