“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-19)
This passage of scripture is a favorite of mine. I especially like the part about not quenching the Spirit. This makes me remember how easy it is for us to cut off the flow of God working in our lives. When we begin to get negative about things, or other people, when we begin to look for fault instead of looking for the blessings, it is so easy to quench the love of God showing up in our lives. Praying without ceasing can be as simple as just knowing and affirming that God is right where we are at every moment, meeting whatever need we may have. I think praying without ceasing in this way is the surest way we have to experiencing that abundant life we all desire to lead.
Think about this: think about a time when you have needed to take some medication and as that medication begins to work you feel better, more healthy and focused in life. Suddenly, because you feel better, you stop taking that medication. You stop because of the false belief that because you feel better you no longer need it, forgetting of course that the reason you feel better is because you are taking your dosage each day. This happens in our spiritual life as well. We come to church, we pray, we connect with God and God’s unconditional love, allowing God’s Spirit to move throughout our day to day life, and things begin to turn around for us, our lives begin to look pretty good. But then we stop that God/Spirit connection thinking we no longer need to turn to God, that everything is now all right. Well, guess what? The reason things are looking so wonderful is that God is a major part of our focus.
I notice this especially in church attendance. In times of crisis the sanctuary is bursting at the seams as people reach out to Spirit God for comfort. Not a complaint, for we are delighted that people know there is a place to come and find peace. But, for many people, if things are going along well church becomes at the very bottom of their priority list. Too bad, for a continual affirmation and worship of the Divine Presence, Spirit-God, builds for us a wonderful Spiritual Escrow Account of Faith.
So, as our scripture tells us, do not quench the Spirit from moving throughout your daily experience, but always give thanksgiving to God for all that God is doing in your life.
God is willing and anxious to bless us, but we must do our part and receive the gift.
Affirmation: “I allow God to be God in my life today. Thank you God for your many blessings.”
Rev. Jefferson Beeker
We live our lives one thought at a time. Let each of those thoughts really count for something wonderful.
Be prepared to change your thinking and change your life. Please join us each Sunday at 5:30 PM in our Social Hall at First Christian Church, North Hollywood, CA for our Contemporary Celebration and Praise service. Come as you are and enjoy an hour of great music from our wonderful band and singers, inspiring messages and good fellowship. Those things in life that you have been seeking have also been seeking you. Now is a good time to receive them. We will lift one another to live exciting, abundant new lives of possibility and purpose.
Also, join me on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8 PM for an hour of guided and silent meditation, reflection, affirmation and prayer. As always, we will share communion together. Everyone is welcome. We are an open and affirming congregation.
First Christian Church, North Hollywood, 4390 Colfax Avenue, Studio City, CA 91604. http://www.fccnh.org
Follow me on Twitter @jeffersonbeeker