Devotion: Monday, November 19, 2018

Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections from His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verse is from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, where the Bible says,

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Thanks-Living!


Thanksgiving can lead to a life of thanks-living, especially if you know the one to whom you are to be “thankful.”  This is the week that Americans are to pause and to reflect upon the providence of God in our lives, and to give Him thanks and praise. Someone has said that such an attitude, the “thankful, attitude of gratitude to God,” might indeed be the key to a joyful life. I think that’s what Paul is trying to teach us in the reading for today. For those who believe in Jesus, your lives are secure in His Name because of what He has done for you. Because of that certain reality, one can “rejoice always, pray continually, [and] give thanks in all circumstances.”

Here’s a way to begin to put that faith to work in your lives. Martin Luther was a man who literally reformed the Christian Church because he rediscovered the grace of God in Jesus Christ and the power and joy of faith that trusts in Him alone. Because of that faith, Luther  practiced the power of thanksgiving and “thanks-living” every day. Note the daily morning and evening prayers that Luther encouraged us all to pray. Ready?

, HE SAYS TO BEGIN YOUR DAY THIS WAY:

In the morning, when you rise you shall make the sign of the holy cross, and you shall say:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, you shall say the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. Then you may say this prayer:

     I THANK YOU, MY HEAVENLY FATHER, THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this
night from all harm and danger; and I pray You to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my
doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your
holy angel be with me, that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.

And then you should go with joy to your work…

LUTHER ENCOURAGES US TO CLOSE EACH DAY IN THE SAME SPIRIT AS FOLLOWS:

“In the evening, when you go to bed, you shall make the sign of the holy cross, and you shall say: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, you shall say the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. Then you may say this prayer:

     I THANK YOU, MY HEAVENLY FATHER, THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, your dear Son, that You have graciously
kept me this day; and I pray You to forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this
night. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me,
that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.

And then lie down in peace, and sleep.

That thankful attitude permeated every day in Luther’s life because Jesus, the one who lived, died, and rose again for him, that Jesus was with him always. That kind of love creates real thanksgiving. And thanksgiving rooted in faith in Jesus empowers a thankful life now and forever.

Put those prayers to work today. Start to bracket all your days with thoughts of Thanksgiving to God in Christ at the beginning and at the end of things. Such a life of faith, even when things seem uncertain, can boldly proclaim that I will put today’s Bible verses into action.

16 “Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for [ME] in Christ Jesus.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for your constant love, your certain Word, and your enduring promises. May that be my focus each and every day amidst the trials and tribulations of this world. Give me the power of a thanksgiving life because of all that Jesus has done for me. AMEN.

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