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Duty to Ourselves - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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1. In 1 Thessalonians chapter five, we continue to note our various responsibilities as:

a. the children of light, the children of day - 1 Thessalonians 5:5

2. In recent studies, we have considered

a. Our duties to others - 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15

3. Our duties are not just directed toward others, we have some that address our own spiritual well-being:

a. Three such duties are mentioned in our text for this lesson - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

1) To rejoice always

2) To pray without ceasing

3) To give thanks in everything

b. Note that Paul says these things are the will of God in Christ Jesus for you




A. Why?

1. In joy there is great strength - Nehemiah 8:10

2. When we have joy in what we believe, we abound in hope - Romans 15:13

3. When we are joyful, it helps those around us to be joyful - 2 Corinthians 2:3

4. To be joyful, to be merry, is crucial to remaining strong ourselves, and being a source of strength to others - Proverbs 15:13,15; 17:22

B. How?

1. It is in the Lord that we find the ability to rejoice always - Philippians 4:4

a. His salvation is the source of much joy - Psalm 21:1

b. He grants joy to those who please Him - Ecclesiastic 2:26; 5:20

c. His mercy is a source of great joy - Psalm 31:7

d. In His presence there is fullness of joy, and He will abide with us if we obey His commands - Psalm 16:11; John 14:21,23

2. To rejoice in the Lord always, follow these simple guidelines:

a. Read and feed upon the Word of God daily - Jeremiah 15:16

b. Meditate upon the teachings of Christ and His apostles

1) Jesus spoke that His disciples joy might be full - John 15:11

2) The apostles wrote that our joy might be full - 1 John 1:4

c. Spend time with brethren who make us happy

1) As Titus' joy encouraged Paul - 2 Corinthians 7:13

2) As Philemon's love and joy refreshed the hearts of others and gave Paul joy - Philemon 1:7, 20

d. Lead others to Christ, for they will be a great source of joy

1) As the Thessalonians were to Paul - 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20; 3:9

2) As Philemon was to Paul - Philemon 1:7

3) As John's converts made him joyful - 3 John 1:4

e. Sing praises of joy to God

1) Certainly we should sing when cheerful - James 5:13

2) But we can also find joy by singing praises (Sing and Be Happy) - Psalms 71:23; 104:33-34; 135:3

f. By being proactive and following these guidelines, it is possible to rejoice always even when external circumstances are not conducive to creating joy (Paul and Silas, singing and praying in prison - Acts 16:25)



A. Why?

1. In prayer we find mercy and grace to help in time of need - Hebrews 4:14-16

2. In prayer we find forgiveness of sins as we confess them - 1 John 1:9

3. In prayer we find the peace of God, so helpful in anxious times - Philippians 4:6-7

B. How?

1. Having set times to pray can help create the habit of praying

a. Consider the example of David and Daniel

1) David, whom God described as a man after My own heart - Psalms 55:17

2) Daniel, whom the angel described as O man greatly beloved - Daniel 6:10

3) These great men of God made it a habit to pray at set times throughout the day; we would do well to imitate their example

b. At the very least

1) Find some time each day to be alone with God in prayer

a) Early morning may be best for some

b) Others might find it easier to be alone late at night

2) Make it a SPECIAL TIME to be alone with your Heavenly Father!

2. We should not limit prayers to set times; special needs may call for special praying

a. Jesus, praying on important occasions - Luke 6:12-13

b. Paul, praying in trying circumstances - Acts 16:25

c. Nehemiah - praying on the spur of the moment - Nehemiah 2:4-5

3. Having set times helps to develop experience and persistence in praying; praying spontaneously as needs arise develops the disposition to pray in every circumstance.



A. Why?

1. Ingratitude is very displeasing to God

a. It is included among other sins that would be prevalent in perilous times - 2 Timothy 3:1-5

b. The wrath of God will be revealed against those who are unthankful - Romans 1:18-21

2. Christians should be known for their gratitude

a. Thankful for what the Father has done for us - Colossians 1:12-14

b. Abounding in thanksgiving - Colossians 2:7

c. A part of the garment we are to put on - Colossians 3:12-15

3. Thankfulness added to our prayers is the key to

a. Overcoming anxiety - Philippians 4:6

b. Obtaining the peace of God which surpasses understanding - Philippians 4:6-7

B. How?

1. Remember that all things can work for our good - Romans 8:28

a. We can therefore glory in tribulation - Romans 5:3-5

b. We can rejoice in persecution - Matthew 5:10-12

c. We can rejoice in trials - James 1:2-3

2. Include thankfulness along with our prayer requests - Philippians 4:6

a. Just as Daniel made the giving of thanks as part of his daily prayers - Daniel 6:10

b. As we pray without ceasing, so we will be thankful without ceasing



1. What is God's will for us in Christ Jesus?

a. To be a thankful people!

b. To be a prayerful people!

c. To be a joyful people!

2. These three are intertwined, with one leading to another

a. The more thankful we are, the more prayerful we will be

b. The more prayerful we are, the more joyful we will be

c. Thus the key to much joy in Christ begins with gratitude

3. In our zeal to fulfill our duties to those who serve and to those in need

a. Do not overlook these duties we have to ourselves.

b. They can help us be more productive in the service we render to the Lord and to all


Are You Saved?


-- Don Treadway, November 2009 --


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