Building Blocks of Gratitude: The Core


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We are continuing to build a sense of gratitude at St. Johns through the series Building Blocks of Gratitude.  At times we think that people in the first century world had it easier than us and we imagine that their lives were simple and unhurried.  This is not the case. Days for the overwhelming majority of people were filled with manual labor.  We may have a faster pace in our lives, but we also have the technology and equipment that saves us time and energy.  We should be happier today than ever!  Yet, this is not the case, we struggle to be thankful.  The early Christians had hard lives because the Christian faith was met with resistance from the Roman world and resentment from the Jewish world.  Yet, they continued to grow in numbers and in thankfulness despite the hardships they endured.  How is this possible?  In the sermon, The Core we turn to 1 Thessalonians 5:11-24.  The Apostle writes to this church to help them be at peace with each other and with their lives.  He makes the bold statement of “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” This is an impossibility unless we take seriously the rest of this passage.  As Paul writes to the believers to increase their joy, the Holy Spirit was empowering him to us help us find the core of thankfulness in 2021!  As you read these scriptures, we pray that they will ignite in your heart a deep sense of gratitude that will fill you with praise and joy!  1 Thessalonians 5:11-24 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil. 23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.  (NIV)