In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Saint Paul tells those new believers, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality,” and then goes on to instruct them on why and how to behave with their bodies. The next topic he covers is brotherly love: “As for love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another.” Evidently love was easy and natural for them, but sexual morality wasn’t. Maybe this isn’t news to you, but I find it an important reminder: In some areas God changes a person from the inside out the moment they convert to faith in Jesus, and in other areas a person needs teaching, discipline, and deliberate obedience. Let’s rejoice in the ways God has transformed us, let’s be patient with our brothers and sisters in their imperfections, and let’s be sensitive to notice our own attitudes and behaviors that are in need of change.
If you are anything like me, each morning arrives with a new list of cares and concerns, worries and anxieties. For those seeking a solution, I turn to Paul’s words: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” God knows what we are going through, and wants us to come to Him with our cares. We should come to Him with thanksgiving, knowing that it is a privilege to be able to approach the God of the universe and that we are to bring all our petitions (our heart-felt concerns that arise out of a deep personal need). God, in turn, promises to give you “the peace that surpasses all understanding, which will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”. He knows, He cares and He alone can give you peace in the midst of a storm.