Thanksgiving 2020

                                                       (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

I spoke to you a couple of weeks ago about gratefulness. One of the most profound statements to me in that sermon was this. 

Someone once said that gratitude is the source for all other Christian virtues. If that be the case, then perhaps we need to reason that ingratitude may well be the source of all, or at least much of our vileness, our depravity as well.

In the letter to the Thessalonians, Paul gives out instructions to this congregation on how to not only survive but thrive. He speaks of rejoicing, praying, even being careful not to quench the Holy Spirit. He also lays out for all to see what God’s will, His desire, His plan for those who trust Him is.

In everything give thanks:

for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

It really is the will of God to live a grateful life.

What do we know about gratitude and being grateful?

Often we hear things like; well I’m grateful in my heart, but I’m just not very good at showing it. But you know my heart. 

No I don’t know your heart, what am I, a cardiologist? I don’t know your heart, unless you say it and show it.

I want to give you three things to help us grasp a biblical understanding of gratitude.

  • True gratefulness, gratitude is never invisible or silent.
    • My Lord said:

(Lu 6:45) A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

  • When your heart is grateful, it’ll overflow to your mouth. 
    • When you’re grateful, you’ll say it and you’ll show it. 
    • When you’re grateful to God, you’ll tell Him, and you’ll show Him, you won’t just assume that He knows, 
    • When you’re grateful to God for others, you’ll tell them, and you’ll show them.
    • If you’re grateful in your heart… out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 
      • So if you’re not speaking it, your heart isn’t really grateful.
    • Some like to say,” well I’m just not that type…
      • Can I say this one more time?… for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
    • From the overflow of your heart, the mouth has to speak, and if you’re really grateful it will show up in your life, through your words and your actions.
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  • Have you ever received something special or seen someone who has received? 
    • Often they break down with emotion. They can’t speak, they are overwhelmed and the face, body, their being shows it.
    • I’ve seen proud, ungrateful people get mad. Get bitter. Feeling now they have to do something
      • But I’ve seen grateful people humbly, lovingly, gratefully, accept and not feel they have to do something of equal value.
    • Now, if we can be that thankful for a special touch from someone, then I know the church of Jesus Christ ought to be able to give God the same kind of praise, for sending His son Jesus Christ to die on the cross. 
      • To set us free forever from our sin and guilt.
      •  Giving us eternal life,
    •  Are there any grateful people here today? 
      • Is there anybody who isn’t just grateful in your heart, but you’re willing to show it with your life, you’re willing to shout it with your mouth?
    • Now I know that you have to be real, I know that you can’t walk around all the time saying, praise the Lord, about everything, or you’ll sound phony,
      • I’m telling you, most of us are in no danger of being too grateful to God. That’s not what we’re struggling with.
      • Gratitude is never invisible or silent
  • Gratitude Sustains Joy and Blessing.
    • A piano has three foot pedals below its keys. The one on the far right is the damper pedal also known as the sustain pedal.
      • When this pedal is depressed it lifts the dampers off the keys allowing the sound to be prolonged.
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  • Does anybody here remember a time in your life when you relieved an offense over and over again, 
    • Somebody hurt you and you replayed that in your mind a 100 times, through bitterness.
    • There is a perverted power or pedal in our mind that enables you to re-live an offense over and over again because of bitterness and un-forgiveness.
    • If you’re a follower of Christ and the Holy Spirit is in you, then by the perfect power of the Holy Spirit, ,( the regenerated pedal)  you can relive the blessing of God over and over and over again, and you can sustain the blessing of God.
      • Even when your situation starts to go bad, or even when someone hurt you today, you can flash back to the times in your life when God was faithful, and He worked it out, and He blessed you.
      • It depends on what note you’re wanting to prolong?
      • Gratitude sustains joy and blessing in your life.
  • Lastly, and very powerful! Gratitude Begins Where My Sense of Entitlement Ends.
    • You cannot be grateful for something that you feel entitled to.
      • That’s why people don’t write thank you notes to the IRS when they get a tax refund.
    • If you start to feel entitled to something, then your gratefulness just immediately ends.
      • It’s gone, disappeared, the moment you feel entitled.
    • When you first became a Christian and you felt that forgiveness and grace of God.
      • You realized what Christ had done for you on the cross, and the huge price He paid so you could be part of His family, you feel so grateful, so blessed. But what happens?
      • Over time you start to take it for granted, and you start to feel entitled. 
    • It is an honor to be allowed to serve Him, even the privilege of knowing Him is a huge blessing.
      • How in the world can we ever start to think we’re entitled to any of that?
      • We’re not entitled to any of it, but we are hugely blessed by God, and we ought to be extremely grateful.
    • Now, the unfortunate truth is, some people in the church do feel entitled. 
      • We get the privilege to teach a class, sing a song, lead in silent prayer all of a sudden it’s ours for life.
  • Let me close with this:
    • Gratitude is never invisible or silent. Gratitude Sustains Joy and Blessing. Gratitude Begins Where My Sense of Entitlement Ends.

To the chief Musician upon Muthlabben, A Psalm of David.

I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous works.

Psalms 9:1

  • Are you grateful for what God has done in your life? 
    • What He has allowed you to be a part of?
    • For those He is letting in to be to carry on?

Do you really know Him? 

Does it show? 

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Are you FAT?

Wednesday Evening 4/8/2020

Luke 18:8

We have to understand that what we are facing today is a serious matter. At the same time we face serious matters everyday of our life. There are those who feel we should not make light of serious situations but in truth, it is most difficult for me not to see humor in almost everything.

One of my favorite things to do in hospital visitation is express to the nurse how much the patient is desiring an enema. Or for the male patient as they are waking up, tell them the tubal tying was a success. Except for with Judyann’s brother-n-law that was true.(Just kidding!)

With this quarantine (hopefully before it is over I will learn how to spell it) I seen this little picture. It was of a gal who was in good athletic shape, looking in the fridge on day 1. Well the next pic was later, say day 30 or 40 and she had, lets say enlarged her boundaries per say.

That is what I want to talk to you about today. Are you FAT!

 Not speaking about your physic but, rather your relationship with the Almighty God!

Are you Faithful? Are you Available? Are you Teachable?

  • Faithful
    • When you’re faithful, you are on time for work, you meet your deadlines or goals, and you give more than expected.
      • What does that look like in our relationship with God?
      • Well, you are on time for work, you meet your deadlines or goals and you give more than expected.
    • What we expect in the world from good character is for the most part what God expects out of us.
      •  Isn’t He worth that much?
    • In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus shared a principle through a parable about a persistent widow and a hard judge. He brings it to this conclusion.
      • (Lu 18:7-8) And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? (8) I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth.
  • Available.
    • Meaning being open to new opportunities. Willing to get out of your comfort zone.
      • You become available right where you are, understanding nobody’s job is done until everybody’s job is done.
    • When you look in scripture you most find God calling those who are available.
      •  They are not always the most talented, wise, or charismatic. Moses stuttered and got tired of dealing with people.
      •  David, well David had a lot of issues but yet really wanted to please the Lord.
      • Look at the disciples. Luke I reckon was the most educated but none was what you would look for to operate a world changing business.
      • But they all made themselves available!
    • Today, I believe that is one of our major hindrances. Finding folks who are available, or willing to be available. They have too many other more important interest.
      • Time and time again I hear, well God hasn’t called me to….
      •  My thought is when do you have time to hear?
  • Teachable.
    • (Proverbs 1:5) A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
      • Can we be honest? Remember humility is taking an honest estimation of ourselves.
    • We all want to feel like we are teachable. I bet the religious leaders of Jesus’ day thought the same.
      • But when they had the light before them they chose to remain in darkness, because what Jesus was teaching was foreign, though ought not to have been, but was foreign to their ears.
      • They stuck to what they believed in. Themselves.
    • Being teachable in no wise means that you fall for everything that sounds good or new.
      • It simply means you are willing to examine what you hear to see what truth there is, if any, in it.
    • Sadly for many of us, when God brings to light through someone or something an area where we have difficulty, we fall to our old nature.
      • We either defend our stance or argue our point but never really allow ourselves a look inside to see if there is something to it.
      • Don’t know how many times I have heard, “You just want to change me.” NO!  God is.
  • So, are you FAT?
    • Too often when it comes to being faithful, available, teachable we hang on to the,
      • You don’t know who I live with, what I go through. You don’t understand my work place, my upbringing.
      • If I had different circumstances or new opportunities.
    • You want some heavy truth!
      • I have realized if you are married, you have issues. If you have been through hard times, easy times any times, you have issues.
      • If you go to work, stay at home you have issues. If you have been raise by parents, cousins, kin or a pack of wolves, you have issues.
      • I suppose what I am saying is WE ALL HAVE ISSUES!
    • God can use the circumstances you find yourself in right now. The question is do you really want Him to?
      • We tend to look for new or different opportunities to open up.
      • What about the opportunity you are not faithfully fulfilling now?
    • In the parable of the talents, (things we have been given to use) Jesus told those who used them:
      • (Mt 25:23) His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. (Luke 18:8)