1 Thessalonians 5:1-18(NRSV)

1 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters,  you do not need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 When they say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! 4 But you, beloved,  are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; 5 for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. 6 So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober; 7 for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing. 12 But we appeal to you, brothers and sisters,  to respect those who labor among you, and have charge of you in the Lord and admonish you; 13 esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, beloved,  to admonish the idlers, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all of them. 15 See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

DEVOTION – Terry Dilbeck Didelot (South Carolina)

One morning while eating breakfast outside, I noticed something unusual about the day.  As I looked to my left the sky was dark, very cloudy, and threatening rain.  To my right  the sun was shining, and a few fluffy white clouds were passing by – the promise of a gorgeous summer day.  I started to think about the choices we have every day.  We can look at the gloomy side of life, or we can focus on a positive attitude as much as possible.

Heartache, sadness, and circumstances beyond our control are going to happen sometimes.  We can face the challenge, do what we can to help, pray about it, and then with God’s help work to change our focus to positive, uplifting thoughts and actions.

Much pain and unhappiness exist throughout today’s world.  If we let ourselves dwell too long on this, we will become sad and bitter people.  However, God created us to enjoy this life.  We can thank God in return for this most wonderful gift by making the most of each day.  Let’s begin today by expressing our love for our wonderful Creator and by loving one another!

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thess. 5:16-18)

PRAYER: Thank you, dear Lord, for giving us and for all your blessings we enjoy each and every day.  Instill in us a good attitude and loving spirit so that others will see your love and grace at work in our lives.  Amen.