Recapturing the Wonder of Christmas: Joy, Prayer, Thankfulness

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

The Apostle Paul wrote a lot of the New Testament. In fact, many Biblical scholars agree that Paul’s letters in the New Testament were instrumental for the spread of Christianity. 

Some of Paul’s letters, such as Colossians or Philippians, are very short and can be read in 10-15 minutes. Others, such as Romans or the letters to the Corinthians, are much longer. But those who take the opportunity to repeatedly read through Paul’s letters are likely to discover some common themes that were important for Paul. 

Two of Paul’s letters were written to the Thessalonians. Paul founded the church in this city but later had to flee because he preached in favor of the kingdom of God and not the kingdom of Caesar. Despite this setback, he continued to encourage the people. Toward the end of his first letter, Paul writes, Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thes. 5:16-18). Despite his circumstances — joy, prayer, and thankfulness — were regular themes for Paul. What would need to happen for these to be regular themes in your life? 

READING & JOURNALING:

     1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-18, 2 CORINTHIANS 11:23-27

How do you think Paul was able to continually be full of joy, prayer, and thankfulness, despite the severe challenges he experienced on a regular basis? 

What would need to happen in your life so that 5, 10, even 20 years from now others would describe you a person full of joy, prayer, and thanksgiving? 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, today I simply pray that the themes of joy, prayer, and thanksgiving will be the kinds of words people use to describe me 5, 10, even 20 years from now. May my life be one that truly reflects Your joy. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

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