Devotional Series: Encouragement from 1 Thessalonians

Scrabble tiles spelling out GRACE on a background of flowers

Grace Be With You!

God’s grace makes all the difference in the world. As we receive God’s amazing, limitless grace for ourselves, we are enabled to extend that grace to others. Christians, of all people, should be marked by amazing grace in the way we relate to others. 

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article image for Praying Faithfully for Others

Praying Faithfully for Others

When people ask us to pray for them, we say “Yes” with all good intentions. But, sometimes, when life gets full, we can forget what we have promised.

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A mountain climber making their way up the side of a mountain with a rope

Celebrating the Faithfulness of God

Why can we have faith in God? Why can we trust God with our very lives? Because God is faithful, utterly faithful, completely trustworthy. Thus, we have confidence that the time will come when God will make right this broken world, including us. We will know the health and wholeness that God intends for us.

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A man freelifting weights

Completely Dedicated to God

We want to be dedicated to God, but often find our hearts being lured in other directions. We can hold back, giving God part of ourselves but not all.

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A woman smiling with her eyes closed in front of a grove of cherry blossoms

The God of Peace

Our hearts yearn for peace, not only the cessation of conflict or inner calm, but also peace that leads to justice, flourishing, and delight. Scripture reminds us that God is the God of peace, the God who gives us the gift of full-orbed peace through Christ.

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A beautiful dove flying in the sunlight in front of a gray building

Be Open to the Spirit and Discern Wisely, Part 5

If you want to discern God’s ways, you need to be formed in mind and heart by the Spirit of God. The more you are shaped by God’s own Spirit, the more you will be able to grasp what God is doing in your life.

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A man helping a woman fill out a form

Be Open to the Spirit and Discern Wisely, Part 4

God puts people in our lives who will help us to hear God’s voice clearly as we seek to serve and please God in every part of our lives.

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A hand holding up a sparkler in front of an American flag

Be Open to the Spirit and Discern Wisely, Part 1

The Bible urges us not to quench the work of the Holy Spirit. Instead, we should be open to what God might do and say in our lives through the Spirit’s power.

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Scrabble tiles spelling out "THANKS"

Give Thanks in Everything

The Bible says we’re to give thanks in everything, not _for_ everything, but _in_ everything. No matter our situation, we can experience God’s presence and give thanks.

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Author Jim Houston at his desk

Living Each Moment in the Presence of God

Renowned leader and author Jim Houston encourages us by his words and his example to live each day in the presence of God. Jim, at 99 years of age, finds God’s strength in his own helplessness.

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A candid portrait of author Henri Nouwen by Frank Hamilton

Pray Without Ceasing! Pray Without Ceasing? Really?

When the Bible tells us to “Pray without ceasing” it’s not suggesting that we should actually talk to God during every waking moment.

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Mark with his uncle Don and his mom Martha in 2013

Rejoicing, Gratitude, and Sorrow: A Personal Story

When someone we love dies, we naturally grieve. We miss that person, sometimes in an almost overwhelming way.

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Mark's wife, son, daughter, and dog, hiking in Rock Creek, California

How Can I Rejoice Always?

Rejoicing always isn’t a matter of pretending. It isn’t denying your feelings of sadness.

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A woman jumping in the air in front of a sunset

Rejoice Always! Rejoice Always? Really?

“Rejoice always” should not be understood as demanding that we never feel or express sorrow.

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A woman giving a coin on a snowy day to a homeless man who has a sign reading "HAPPY HAPPY HOLIDAYS TODAY IS MY 26 B-DAY"

Pursue Goodness

Sometimes we Christians can be so focused on loving each other that we have little love left over for their neighbors.

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