Today there was a great sermon message speaking to being thankful. It spoke of three stages of thankfulness and many biblical examples of how they can and have been applied. Thanksgiving is to be something we do all the time, continually, in all our ways, in all circumstances. Thanksgiving is something we should have because we allow the peace of Christ be the controlling factor in our hearts.
The Grumble Free Year – imagine that. Imagine the experiment which was written and shared thru The Grumble-Free Year: Twelve Months, Eleven Family Members, and One Impossible Goal (Book by Tricia Goyer).
Complaining and grumbling come naturally, no need to teach or train how to do that. Sometime it becomes so common place in our lives that we diminish the affect it has on the relationships around us by driving a wedge between us and who or whatever we are complaining about it. It also is something that affects and offense to God. Everyday God gives everything we need. We have new mercies every morning from God. Imagine the impact of grumbling on an 11 day trip to the promised land became 4 decades of wandering in the desert.
‘The L ord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “How long shall I put up with this evil congregation who murmur [in discontent] against Me? I have heard the complaints of the Israelites, which they are making against Me. Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the L ord , ‘just what you have spoken in My hearing I will most certainly do to you; your dead bodies will fall in this wilderness, even all who were numbered of you, your entire number from twenty years old and upward, who have murmured against Me. Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, not one of you shall enter the land in which I swore [an oath] to settle you. ‘— Numbers 14:26-30
Just because you think you are grumbling against others doesn’t mean that it isn’t being heard or offensive to God. Don’t you want to give God the glory He so deserves? Grumbling and complaining it keeps us out of the promises God has for us. It is important to not only try to change our attitude without starting in the heart but it doesn’t end there.
Gratitude and thankfulness take practice and efforts. How can we grow and develop in this area? After the 40 years and the new generation is getting ready to enter into the promised land, we see how Moses speaks to them to not forget what God has done for you.
‘When you have eaten and are satisfied, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you. ‘— Deuteronomy 8:10
Consider these words of Moses as the people were about to enter into the promised land: “FOR THE“
This is the basic level of gratitude. Looking back and giving God thanks for the blessings He has already given into your life. Thanksgiving begins in the heart.
Thank You God FOR THE _______________.
Inward grumbling can still be known and heard by God! Can you be thankful for what you have, for the abilities you have, for the time, for the provision.
‘Bless and affectionately praise the Lord , O my soul, And all that is [deep] within me, bless His holy name. Bless and affectionately praise the Lord , O my soul, And do not forget any of His benefits; Who forgives all your sins, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you [lavishly] with lovingkindness and tender mercy; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the [soaring] eagle. ‘— Psalms 103:1-5
We need to look back and be thankful. We need to share and learn of the stories of what God has done so that we can not only be thankful but also share reasons to be thankful. Don’t stop at this level.
Consider the words of David in the midst of the valley: “EVEN THOUGH“
‘Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You have anointed and refreshed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord .’— Psalms 23:4-6
We can now take our gratitude to the next level, EVEN THOUGH. David is thanking God even though he is in a dark time in his life, even though he is walking thru a valley, even though his enemies are after him. What might try to get you ungrateful, discourage, depressed, or even angry that would be considered enemies of you? Enemy of insecurity? fear? doubt? illness? sickness? challenge? difficulty? In the midst of it all God wants to commune with you. Looking back is the FOR THE, in the middle of all that is going on right now, EVEN THOUGH, even if everything is going bad around me, God is with me through it.
‘Though the fig tree does not blossom And there is no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive fails And the fields produce no food, Though the flock is cut off from the fold And there are no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will [choose to] rejoice in the Lord ; I will [choose to] shout in exultation in the [victorious] God of my salvation! The Lord God is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army]; He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet And makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge and responsibility]. For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.’—Habakkuk 3:17-19
Even though … Habakkuk says that he will choose to rejoice, to shout in exultation for God’s salvation.
‘Even though He kills me; I will hope in Him. Nevertheless, I will argue my ways to His face. ‘— Job 13:15
Job has a maturing level of thankfulness and gratitude. LIke Paul and Silas in prison – they choose to sing at the midnight hour, the darkness part of the night and God opens the doors of the prison. We need to sing praises to our Jesus! We need to sing praises to our God! God brings a new aspect when we are generous with our praise!
Consider the words of Paul: “BECAUSE OF“
‘Now I want you to know, believers, that what has happened to me [this imprisonment that was meant to stop me] has actually served to advance [the spread of] the good news [regarding salvation]. My imprisonment in [the cause of] Christ has become common knowledge throughout the whole praetorian (imperial) guard and to everyone else. Because of my chains [seeing that I am doing well and that God is accomplishing great things], most of the brothers have renewed confidence in the Lord, and have far more courage to speak the word of God [concerning salvation] without fear [of the consequences, seeing that God can work His good in all circumstances].
but the former preach Christ [insincerely] out of selfish ambition [just self-promotion], thinking that they are causing me distress in my imprisonment. What then [does it matter]? So long as in every way, whether in pretense [for self-promotion] or in all honesty [to spread the truth], Christ is being preached; and in this I rejoice. Y es, and I will rejoice [later as well], ‘— Philippians 1:12-14, 17-18
The next level of gratitude is BECAUSE OF what we are going thru. It is thanking God because of His purpose in the midst of the challenges. We might not understand the situation and we know that God in and through it all is doing something in and thru me that I am going to trust are going to be good! Paul shows how because he was in chains people were coming to Jesus. He is getting prison guards saved because of him being in prison. The message of Christ is being preach and so Paul gives God praise and thanks BECAUSE of it all. He is grateful and gracious level. We can take holder of
‘And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. ‘— Romans 8:28
God’s Word speaks to how God works all things together for good for those who love God! We know from God’s Word that he works all things together for good for those who love God and called according to His purposes. We can be grateful for each element of our lives no matter how good or bad, because He knows the bigger picture and how they are all working together, the good, the bad, and the ugly in order to come out with purpose and good. A BECAUSE OF attitude isn’t that we are thankful because of each of the bad things that happen, but because of God’s truth that we read in Romans 8:28 and can take hold
‘While Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing [along the border] between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, He was met by ten lepers who stood at a distance; and they raised their voices and called out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were [miraculously] healed and made clean. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, glorifying and praising and honoring God with a loud voice; and he lay face downward at Jesus’ feet, thanking Him [over and over]. He was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten [of you] cleansed? Where are the [other] nine? Was there no one found to return and to give thanks and praise to God, except this foreigner?” Jesus said to him, “Get up and go [on your way]. Your faith [your personal trust in Me and your confidence in God’s power] has restored you to health.” Now having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed or with a visible display; nor will people say, ‘Look! Here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For the kingdom of God is among you [because of My presence].” ‘— Luke 17:11-19
We can look and find good in everything, no matter how bad things get. God keeps his eyes on us, just like He did like the lepers. Jesus gave them instructions to follow before He healed them. We need to follow God’s basic instructions. As they were going to show themselves to the priest, all 10 were cleansed and one saw that they were healed, they kept walking and believing while they were headed to the priest. One turned back and fell to his knees and cried out to Jesus “Thank you”. How many cry out for help but don’t turn back and cry out Thank you? They were probably all thankful of the healing in their hearts. Only one returned to express his thanks to Jesus.
Challenge today grow in our expression of gratitude rather than just our attitude of gratitude. What has God done to you and how are you going to express it?
Sing your praise to the Lord! Praise all that you have to be thankful for!
Starts in the heart but don’t let it end there, let it be an expression of gratitude! Let’s not neglect to express our gratitude to God!
Thank you for such an incredible message Pastor Larry Murrell (@sermon8tor) Thanksgiving … It’s not just a day and it’s not just an attitude! https://www.facebook.com/eastridgechurch/videos/551859588966793/Tweet