Week 1: Friday Five (1 Thess. 1:1-2:6)

Originally, I was turned onto this mode of carrying out the “Five Minute Friday,” by a dear friend. Marie faithfully carries out this Friday series, on her own blog. The idea is to offer five bold points, that you may read within five minutes.

Five Truths on 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:6. . .

(1)  Our prayer lives are to be the strongest aspect of the Christian life (see 1:2-3). One of the more noteworthy aspects of this section of Scripture is their prayer lives. These were men who knew the significance of the need to praise and pray to the Father. If we want to grow as believers in Jesus Christ, we would be wise to take cues from their example –

We always thank God for all of you. We keep on praying for you. We remember you when we pray to our God and Father. Your work is produced by your faith. Your service is the result of your love. Your strength to continue comes from your hope in our Lord Jesus Christ (1:2-3, NIRV).

(2) God dearly loves us, and has chosen to call us His own (1:4). The most important form of love comes from our heavenly Father. We have been hand-picked by Him and passionately loved. Because of the way God loves us, we know that we will never have to walk alone. God, our Creator, is the One who walks with us – even carrying us, as we face difficult days in our lives. We need to keep our eyes focused on the One who loves us more than any other ever could!

(3) Our faith rests in our Lord Jesus Christ, and is transformative (see 1:6, 9-10). The Thessalonians’ lives were changed from the moment they first heard the Gospel and chose to believe. They put all their heart, soul, and mind into what they believed to be true about Jesus. They never half-heartedly believed, but the way they trusted Jesus showed up in every aspect of their lives.

. . . They tell about how you turned away from statues of gods. And you turned to serve the living and true God. They tell about how you are waiting for his Son to come from heaven. God raised him from the dead. He is Jesus. He saves us from God’s anger, and his anger is sure to come (1:9b-10).

(4) Our actions will change, in light of faith (see 1:10). As we gaze at the way the Thessalonians’ lives were changed by their beliefs in Christ, we can be encouraged that our lives can experience the same kind of transformation. As we place our faith in Jesus Christ, and no other, our lives can be radically changed.

(5) While our goal is to please God, not people, our faith-filled lives causes us to become examples of what it looks like to follow Jesus Christ (see 1:7-8, 2:4-6). Before we can become examples ourselves, we must be taught. God has given us Christ-centered people in whom we can see how they lived out their faith. Paul called people to imitate him, as he imitated Christ. He taught with his words, but as well as his very life.

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ (1 Cor. 11:1, NIV).

As we follow our Lord Jesus in faith, we are given many others who show us how to trust Jesus as the Lord of our lives. These people help us learn what it means to have faith in Jesus and allow it to alter the choices we make. As we grow, we are gifted the opportunity to entrust others with what we have been taught. It is a continual gift to others in the church.



How Will You Prepare for this Transition?

This past week, we have had a great deal of emotions related to the election alone. Some happy. Some sad. Some resolving to be content in a discontented situation. A wide array of emotions. Our actions are just as varied. Complaints. Protests. Violence. Self-isolation. Deleting facebook friends, who are in favor of a different candidate than you are.

We and our world are in dire need of intervention. We need to remember our hope that extends beyond any of today’s politicians’ promises for a better tomorrow. It is time to remember the hope, assurance, and peace that only God can give!

I don’t know (nor do I want to) where you stand in relation to the election. I don’t know anyone’s opinions on the election. But I do want us to do something intentional. There are ten weeks before our next president begins his four year term (along with his cabinet of advisers).

Let’s devote ourselves to search the heart of God intentionally, and just give to God our hearts and our country.

When we give ourselves fully to God, that is when He is going to move mountains like never before! I am setting up a reading plan for myself, over these next ten weeks. I am sharing it, in case this is stirring anyone else’s heart to join me in this pursuit.

I want to see God move mountains.

I want to see God perform miracles like never before.

I want to see what my God can do!

… It all begins with prayer and studying His Word!

… Its starts with us turning from sin and turning our lives fully toward God!

I know God is deeply concerned about our nation, too. God sees everything going on, and He is in tears about everything going on too. He cares about what is going on in the nation, because He lovingly and passionately cares for us. He wants us to begin seeking Him and to start inviting Him to be involved in our lives and our nation as well.

The question is, how will we prepare for our next president?

While we could use this as an opportunity to breed discontentment, gossip, and strife, we have another choice too. And, that is to seek after the heart of God. While I cannot promise you that your deepest fears won’t come true, I can promise you that God loves you personally, deeply concerned for you, and wants to work in your life. And, He is not going to leave your side. He is waiting for us, to begin seeking after Him and allowing Him to be our Faithful Companion and Source of Hope.

You can view the reading plan below –

Citizen of Heaven / / Resident of Earth Reading Plan

~ Stacey

Social Media Society {{Week 6}}

Welcome to today’s blog and our Gleaning From the Heart of Jesus study! Today, we will be discussing a very important topic. One we all will encounter, as we live in our Christian life! Are you ready? Break out those journals and your Bible. If you don’t have either nearby, join us anyway!

The Scriptures – Matthew 6:1-4 and Jeremiah 17:10

Jesus said, “Be careful not to do good deeds in front of other people. Don’t do those deeds to be seen by others. If you do, your Father in heaven will not reward you. When you give to needy people, do not announce it by having trumpets blown. Do not be like those who only pretend to be holy. They announce what they do in the synagogues and on the streets. They want to be honored by other people. What I’m about to tell you is true. They have received their complete reward. When you give to needy people, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Then your giving will be done secretly. Your Father will reward you, because he sees what you do secretly (Matthew 6:1-4, NIrV).”

The Lord says, “I look deep down inside human hearts. I see what is in people’s minds. I reward each person in keeping with their conduct. I bless them based on what they have done (Jeremiah 17:10).”


Unfortunately, we live in a social network culture where it’s common practice and expected to proclaim every single act and good work that we have offered up to our gracious Creator and Redeemer! While it is still just as wrong as Scripture tells us, we have somehow made it seem okay. So, we “check in” when we get to church or the latest worship event we have been to. We post a picture, when we crack open our dusty Bible for the first time in a week.

We have lost the sacred art along with the way God has trained us up, where we are careful to not tell others about our “good deeds”.

According to this set of Scriptures, we are reminded of the danger that our sharing or oversharing can cause. We can, in fact, miss (completely) the blessings and rewards of our great God. All because, we weren’t careful to live our acts within the walls of our spiritual marriage.

Like an earthly marriage, there is much of ourselves and actions that are far too personal for the outside world – to have access to.
Our relationship with Jesus is a treasure that this world shouldn’t have full access to.

While we share a great deal about our relationship, we need to be careful.

Our spiritual marriage is a sacred thing. While we are proclaiming and sharing, let’s resolve to stay humble and allow God to be our motivation for every single thing we do. Let’s listen to God, take Him at His Word, and remember why Jesus tells us to not share the knowledge of our “good deeds” with others. Let’s remember the gift of discretion, and obeying God. We need to allow discretion and godly obedience to invade our hearts and minds, so we don’t proclaim our good works and lose our heavenly rewards.

See Romans 12:2; Luke 12:1-3

Lord God, Keep my focus on You. Help me to not share my “good deeds” with the world, but leave them for You alone. Thank You for all You are and the relationship I can have with You. Help me not to follow the patterns of this world, but to be transformed by You alone! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Doing Right During Persecution {{Week 3}}

Welcome, friends!

I invite you to get out your study journal and Bible, if you have it nearby. If you haven’t had the privilege of ordering your study journal yet, you can do so here (Please Note: It’s an affiliate link).

The Scriptures – Matthew 5:10 and 25:34

 You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom (Matthew 5:10).

Then I, the King, shall say to those at my right, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, into the Kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world (Matthew 25:34).’


God’s Promise

God gives us a serious promise, here. But, it is one we struggle to read – let alone hold onto with all we got. We are taught of the goodness of God, in the face of difficulties that arise from seeking and sharing Christ. Even though we will suffer persecution, God promises to continue taking care of us.

God covers us with a precious promise, that He will bring good out of our persecution. Keep clinging to Christ. (Click-to-Tweet)

God’s Power

There will be times when we are treated differently than others, because we have given our entire lives to Jesus Christ. It is in this place, we discover God and the depths of God’s power and our faith.

The Promise…

Yet in the midst of all these things, God has chosen to call us blessed. This word means “happy” and “fortunate”. We need to not forget this truth. We need to hold onto it. We need to keep believing God and His Son Jesus Christ and listen to what He is saying to us in today’s study.

God has chosen us to be a part of His heavenly Kingdom. How are you seeking His Kingdom? (Click-to-Tweet)

God has chosen us, to be a part of His Kingdom. Persecution is the birth pains of chasing after the goodness and glory of our great God – forsaking everything else to cling to Christ!

The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe (Proverbs 18:10, NIV).

As we learn in Matthew 25:34, the things we do today will show which kingdom we belong to. Doing right, regardless, is just part of being a son or daughter of the King of Kings. Our identity is found in Him, and reflected in our decision to continue to do what is right – even when it is not easy.

For you are a holy people, who belong to the LORD your God. Of all the people on earth, the LORD your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure (Deuteronomy 7:6, NLT).

Lord, I need to remember why persecution comes for Your children. I want to be Your daughter who stays steadfast in her pursuit of You and how You shape her identity. Help me to keep doing what is right, not in culture’s eyes, not in my sphere of influence’s eyes (family, friends, associates, etc), but in Your eyes. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Look Up! {{Week 3}}

We are at the end of our third week, for our current study. We have spent the past few weeks, studying Isaiah 40. Amazing journey, right?!? I am loving it! If you are new, it’s not too late to join in. We have one more week, before journeying through Matthew 4-7 (see end of post, for details). For Isaiah 40, you can pick up a free journal and schedule – to join in the fun!

The Scriptures – Isaiah 40:26; Psalm 89:11, 147:4

“Look up to the skies. Who created all these stars? He leads out the army of heaven one by one and calls all the stars by name. Because he is strong and powerful, not one of them is missing (Is. 40:26).”

The skies and the earth belong to you. You made the world and everything in it… He counts the stars and names each one (Ps. 89:11, 147:4).

God is calling us to “look up”. Look up, He says to us. Look up and see. God is the great Creator of the universe. He has uniquely made each star, but He doesn’t stop there.

  • God created them.
  • God has brought them out, so we can see His handiwork. We get the shear joy of witnessing His handiwork.
  • God has called each one, by its God-given name.
  • God counts them, to make sure none are missing.
  • While God counts each one, they are given a specific name. Our God is specific and deliberate in every action He makes.

To me, this shows just how involved God is in each one of our lives – as well. In John 10, we see most of these themes play out again. Only this time, they relate to us!

Just as the heavens and eath are His, we are definitely His too! God saw fit to create us and call us His own. God created us from nothing and has the authority to call us as His own.

God is weaving us into His grand plan for the universe, as we come to Him. (Click to Tweet)

God calls us, by name. It doesn’t matter what we answered to, before we began walking with Jesus. All that matters is the moment we are standing in. All that matters is the new name we have been given, at this very moment. God wants to call us His sons and daughters. This happens, as we come to His Son – Jesus Christ, the Messiah!

Jesus has chosen you (me too), and gives you a new name. Just like He did for Jerusalem, He is rebuilding us. He is bringing us back. He is healing us. He is shwoing Himself as our Awesome Creator. His understanding, in Psalm 147:5, is even described as “beyond comprehension.” He is that good!

Jesus has picked you! And, He has a new name for you too. (Click to Tweet)

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I invite you to join us for our next study. For nine weeks, beginning on September 11, we will be enjoying bite-size portions of Matthew 4-7. This amazing section of Scripture, we will finally get to sit down and study at our own level. You can pick up your journal, over on Amazon. (Please Note: As an Amazon Affiliate, I receive a small earning from any purchases made using the link at no expense to you.)