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Daily Reading: Jeremiah 12:1-14:10 ESV, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:8 ESV, Psalm 79:1-13 ESV, Proverbs 24:30-34 ESV

Daily Verse: “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers,” (1 Thessalonians 1:2 ESV)

MNEIA (3417): “Remembrance, mention” (akin to mimnesko, “to remind, remember”).  Is always used in connection with prayer and translated “mention” in 1 The. 1:2.”[1]

To remember.

Paul starts his letters by thanking God for the recipients, which gave him an attitude of gratitude.  Silas and Timothy also shared their appreciation for the churches.

By thanking God first and foremost, Paul lifts his thoughts from earthly things to heavenly ones.  Paul gives credit for the Thessalonians to the source of their spiritual progress, Jesus. 

Realizing our complete dependence on God helps us stay focused on Him.  Keeping a clear focus helps us move into more incredible spiritual exploits.  In other words, if we keep the Son in our eyes, we will grow spiritually far more than we ever thought or imagined.

Thankful prayer.

Like Paul’s letters, if we begin our conversations with God by thanking Him for the people in our lives, we will focus our thoughts above.  Everyone has good qualities for which we can thank God, finding them helps us love.

When Corrie Ten Boom and her sister found themselves in a Nazi concentration camp with thousands of other women, they thanked God for the fleas.  Because of the little mites, the guards wouldn’t enter the barracks, which meant the ladies could have Bible study.

“like waifs clustered around a blazing fire…The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful the Word of God.” Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place[1]

Become like Paul; start your conversations out with thankfulness.  Allow gratitude to focus your thoughts on Jesus.  Mention those around you to the King, letting appreciation for others soften your heart towards them as you talk to God about them.

When we pray for others, God changes our hearts, softening them.  Giving grace to others starts when we mention them to God in prayer, thanking Him for their presence in our life.

[1] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 166) Thomas Nelson


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