Good morning, today is Thursday May 25th. Many of us grew up or work under lists of rules to follow. Most often we become exhausted trying to please these expectations because we do not know the person who wrote the rules. Relationships change what we can endure.
CONNECT (Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ What is one thing you can give thanks to God for? How about a difficult circumstance - anything to be thankful about?
_ What is one way the Lord is impacting the life of someone you are walking with (to help grow in or discover Jesus)?
_ Ask God for the strength you need to fulfil his will. Thank him for the times that he has.
DISCOVER [ 1 These. 5.16-22 ] 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)
_ What is the will of God for you?
_ The encouragements in v16-18 seem impossible. Why would Pail and the other writers heap on the Thessalonians an impossible religious burden?
_ What Spirit is spoken of in v19?
_ How could a prophesy be tested? Does this encouragement to test prophesies follow on from the encouragement not to quench the Spirit?
_ Surely Paul's readers already know that they should abstain from evil. Why include it in this list? Could it be to help us test prophesies?
_ For Paul and his companions, the quenching of the Spirit is a threat to the Christian life. Without the Spirit, could his readers do all these things they have been told is the 'will of God' for them?
+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and respond to what I learned today with a simple concrete step of action/obedience? (In groups discuss this in guy/girl break-outs, below are a couple of ideas to help prompt responses if needed)
+ WHO are you walking with that you might pass along or encourage what you learned, with today? (e.g., your family around the dinner table, a friend, co-worker or neighbor you are walking with to discover the message Jesus)