Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Our 2017 Family Conferences at America’s Keswick are about to begin, and I would like to remind you that you can participate in three ways:
- You can come for a week with your family and enjoy the ministry of God’s Word from some of America’s finest preachers, worship in music as Robert and Joyce Hayes lead us, and enjoy the many fun new activities including our Bounce House and Archery tag.
- If you can’t attend for a week and live locally, you can come to all the sessions. The evening sessions (Sunday-Thursday night) are at 7:00 PM and the morning sessions (Monday – Thursday morning) are at 9:30 AM.
- Can’t attend live? You can watch all the sessions live or go back and watch them anytime this summer (americaskeswick.org/watchlive)
Our theme this year is HOW SHALL WE LIVE – Rejoice! Pray! Give thanks! Our Bible teachers will be unpacking the theme as they share the messages God has placed on their hearts.
Our theme verse is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 and follows Paul’s teaching about the “day of the Lord” – 1-11. In typical Paul style, he follows up his teaching with practical application of the truth he has just shared.
Verses 12 -24 are chock full of practical ways for us to live in light of the Lord’s return. It is worth you taking a few minutes to read these amazing verses.
But our focus this summer is on verses 16-18, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to translate these commands so that they are more understandable.
They are actually on-going commands versus a one-time action. In other words keep on rejoicing, keep on praying without ceasing, keep giving thanks.
Let’s go to the end of the verse and ask the question, “Do you want to know God’s will for your life?” Doc Cawood from Cairn University used to say, “If you want to know God’s will for your life, do what the Word already tells you to be the will of God for your life.”
In these three verses, Paul makes it plain that these three action commands are indeed God’s will for our lives.
This summer at America’s Keswick we will be applying these three principles in a variety of ways:
Rejoice – we had dedicated a wall in the Raws Family Room that will display pictures of people who make decisions to trust Christ as their Savior this summer. The word rejoice in the New Testament is often tied in with rejoicing over a sinner who converted = something lost is now found.
Pray without ceasing – We normally have dedicated morning prayer sessions, but this year we are planning to invite our guests to pray around their tables in the Dining Room before we scatter for the activities of the day.
Give thanks – in the hallway of the Raws building we have three windows and we are encouraging our guests to write and post notes for things they are thankful for. It has been cool to see the notes posted since we started this Memorial Day weekend.
We’ll unpack these three verses more next week. But for now, the take-away for this week is – How Shall We Live? Rejoice! Pray! Give Thanks!
Rejoice! Pray! Give Thanks!
President & CEO
Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 11 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.
Think About This: What you fear the most reveals what you VALUE the most. What you fear the most reveals where you TRUST God the least.
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
“Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.” Psalm 4:1