Bible Bytes

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Learning God’s Word in byte-sized portions is the absolute best way to gain an understanding of the Scriptures, especially the sections within the Bible that are written to the believer of today. The Church Epistles are directly addressed to believers who live and grow daily in the grace of God’s divine Word. In I Thessalonians we have a series of Bible bytes that give to the believer tremendous understanding and spiritual light.

I Thessalonians 5:16 – Rejoice evermore.

This is the entire verse of Scripture: “Rejoice evermore.” So when are we to rejoice? Evermore. This means always, during good times as well as hard times. To rejoice is to have joy over and again, and the result of rejoicing is laughter, like Sarah, Abraham’s wife. Her laughter was the result of beginning to believe in a promise of God and the joy within her heart overflowed into laughter. As we learn God’s healing Word, rejoicing becomes a second nature response from simply knowing that God is so very well pleased with us. Some negatives may come our way today yet we are able to rejoice evermore because we know the result, we know that we are more than conquerors because we believe God, His Word, and we believe His promises of deliverance to us.

I Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray without ceasing.

Again this is a Bible byte, yet it contains a world of truth with instruction, guidance, and encouragement. To “pray without ceasing” means never to give up on our prayers though at times it may appear that some of our prayers go unanswered. Still, when God’s Word promises us something and we pray with believing for it, it will absolutely come to us. I have one prayer that I have been faithful to for more than seventeen years, and I believe in my heart that the answer is still coming. Almost all of our prayers are answered right away, or in the due process of time as our need truly arises, and sometimes they do take time before we receive our answers; however, if we pray with believing and we do not give up, we will reap.

When we put our trust in the hands of God and pray without ceasing, even if we do not immediately see the results that we want, it does not mean that God does not care. Rather, we can use this as a challenge to help build our thankfulness and faithfulness to the words of life. When I first became a Christian believer I had hundreds of questions, and over the years I have received hundreds of answers to my questions, yet I still have questions, perhaps even more than at the start. Yet God continues answering me through His Word, or by hearing a teaching, or I see it in a book, or God inspires me with inspirations and revelations as life seems to go on without too much trouble.

This is the same with prayer, we can believe that God’s timetable is always perfect, and when we do receive the answers to our prayers they are usually greater than we could even imagine because God always goes beyond what we can ask or even think.

I Thessalonians 5:18 – In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Being thankful for everything that God gives to us is a result of our prayer life, this is the context that the giving of thanks is set in, for this is living in the will of God. “Concerning you” means that God’s will is always directed toward you in Christ Jesus. God will is to be continuously answering our prayers as we continue to be thankfully “rejoicing evermore” along our life’s path.

We Look for the Savior

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The greatest expectation that the believer has is the return of his or her Savior who is Jesus Christ. When he returns, we will be gathered up with him to enjoy our eternity with him at God’s own right hand.

Philippians 3:20 – For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

“Our conversation” means our citizenship because our homeland is in heaven! With our heavenly standing in God’s family we may earnestly look with great hope for our Savior who is the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice that the verse does not say to pray for him to come because his return will happen on God’s timetable rather than on man’s timetable. The word “look” means to wait with patience and expectation.  I know that many Christian people fear this great and glorious day, but that is only because they have a wrongful fear of the greatness of Christ’s return for us. Some people are indeed fearful of the future wrath; however, God’s children do not, will not, and cannot pass through the impending wrath that is surely to come. In Philippians 3:20 our Lord Jesus Christ is called “our Saviour” because we have been saved, not for the wrath of God, but for heaven itself and to be eternally immersed in the love of God! The word “Saviour” in reference to Jesus Christ means that he himself accomplished our salvation and our complete spiritual wholeness. We will be in heaven before wrath and tribulation ever begin (I Thessalonians 4:13–5:5).

Philippians 3:21 – Who {Jesus Christ} shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things {all believers} unto himself.

The words “vile body” means a body that has been humiliated. The human body was originally perfect in every detail, having eternal life within its very nature before the fall of man in Genesis. It was the Adversary (the Serpent) who defiled and humiliated the human body of man from its original perfect creation, and with the return of Christ our bodies will be “fashioned like unto his {Christ Jesus’} glorious body.” When Christ Jesus awoke from the dead after his crucifixion he had a new and glorious body, which would never be humiliated again, that will never die again, and that will last him for eternity. This is the kind of body promised to believers!

Jesus was a perfect man, he had no sin in his body, neither was his body humiliated until he allowed himself to become sin for us and be brutally tortured and crucified. He indeed received humiliation and he experientially knows the hold the sin nature still has in man because he himself experienced this so that he could identify completely with humanity. Although our human body is still humiliated, we have been given great hope in the return of our Savior, and then we will receive heavenly life-regenerating bodies equally as powerful as what Jesus now has. He literally walked (or passed) through walls, appearing and disappearing in the midst of his disciples at will; he passed through the heavens and back in the blink of an eye, and was only recognizable to his disciples when he wanted to be recognized. This glorious body will be given to us, and is why the Scriptures say that we can look with great expectation for that great and glorious day of his return, and our gathering together up to him.