Daily Devotional November 18, 2020

Side by Side with Jesus.                                                     Pastor Tom Joyce

November 18, 2020

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”   I Thessalonians 5:18


God’s will has been blamed for everything from the weather to catastrophic illness to even our current pandemic crisis. These things are about as far from God’s will for us as the universe is large.  God’s will is all about offering “new life” through Jesus who came so we, “may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) Abundant living in Christ is acknowledging the gift of life we have received and the eternal presence of Jesus in our lives no matter the natural or human challenges we may face. Giving thanks acknowledges we are not God and that it is by God’s grace we exist at all. But we cannot give thanks to Jesus with our back turned to him, we needed to turn back, repent, to the one who has called us each by name and celebrates our return from a life apart from God. Thanking God through Jesus Christ in “all circumstances” is the realization that Jesus is with us, side by side, through every moment of our lives, good, bad, and all things in between; it is a confession of our need of a savior, the Savior Jesus Christ. Maybe God’s will is also allowing Jesus to take on all the baggage that has plagued you for so long, that has kept you from fully experiencing the joy of faith and the life that God has offered you. In a world that seems to be changing by the day if not the hour, we all need to know, and give thanks for, Jesus who has been side by side with us from the time we were conceived and even to the end of the age. Take this day to begin thanking Jesus every morning for another chance at life, for the people that have been placed in your path, for the creation that surrounds you, and for the amazing grace that abides within you. Give “thanks in all circumstances,” and celebrate each moment as a precious gift from God.

Rev. Tom Joyce  

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