Summary: One of the temptations of the Christian who has been saved for any length of time is the danger of getting accustomed to God’s blessings, to take them for granted, and fail to be thankful. we need to be thankful to God for so much.
INTRODUCTION: Psalms 100:4 tells us to "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; be thankful to Him, and bless His name." One of the temptations of the Christian who has been saved for any length of time is the danger of getting accustomed to God’s blessings, to take them for granted, and fail to be thankful. "Let me ask you today what are you thankful for?" This morning I have so much to be thankful for. I am thankful for my loving wife, my children and grandchildren, the blessing of being an American, our liberty, my health, and a multitude of material blessings. What are you thankful for? I believe there are some things that regardless of who you are this morning you and I ought to be thankful to God for. Today let us…
I. BE THANKFUL TO GOD FOR HIS GOODNESS
A. Psalms 25:8 "Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way."
B. Psalms 135:3 "Praise the LORD; for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant."
C. God is not a being of mere "power;" he is not merely the Creator, the Uncaused Cause; but He is infinitely benevolent, and is, therefore, worthy of universal praise.
D. What should have been a joyous occasion turned into a nightmare of grief. Randy Hoyt watched helplessly as his wife Kris went into hospital for an emergency Caesarean section operation when only 5 months pregnant. The bleeding was tremendous. Kris required 30 units of blood. As the doctors battled to save her life Randy cried out to God "God, what do you want? I know you can heal her; why don’t you?" God didn’t heal her. Kris and 16 days later their prematurely born daughter Grace lost her struggle for life. Randy was left the single parent of six children. "What about our plans, God?" he asked. "Who will teach the kids, guide them, and love them like their mother?" Randy soon found out. A program was started which became known as "Help Bring Hope to the Hoyt Kids." Over the next six months, hundreds of people worked, sent money, donated meals and supplies and poured love into Randy’s family. Randy received more than 500 letters, e-mails and cards from people who said they were praying for us. At the end of the six months the medical bills are all paid, the mortgage has been paid and Randy is back at work. God did not save his wife, but God’s love was ministered to Randy and his children in deeply profound ways after Kris’ death. The pain of Kris’ and Grace’s death of course remained. Yet when he started to sink into despair Randy could imagine the two of them in heaven together, fully alive, healthy and full of joy. "See her as she is now," he felt the Holy Spirit saying. "She is alive." Reflecting upon his experience Chris says, "I asked God for the life of my wife; I received instead a lesson on the nature of God. God is good. Armed with that knowledge, I have no fear for today or the future. God will always be enough…for any situation." – Source: reported by Randy Hoyt, "Seeing God," Pentecostal Evangel, January 21, 2001, pp.14-15
E. Psalms 34:8 "O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him."
II. BE THANKFUL TO GOD FOR HIS LOVE
A. 1 John 4:8 "He that loves not knows not God; for God is love."
B. From God’s other known attributes we may learn much about his love. We can know, for instance, that because God is self-existent, his love had no beginning; because he is eternal, his love can have no end; because he is infinite, it has no limit; because he is holy, it is the quintessence of all spotless purity; because he is immense, his love is an incomprehensibly vast, bottomless, shoreless sea before which we kneel in joyful silence and from which the loftiest eloquence retreats confused and abashed. -source unknown
C. The love of God is greater far, Than tongue or pen can ever tell, Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the heavens of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade, To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry, Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Though stretched from sky to sky. – Chaldee Ode
D. God is love, not, God is loving. God and love are synonymous. Love is not an attribute of God, it is God; whatever God is, love is. If your conception of love does not agree with justice and judgment and purity and holiness, then your idea of love is wrong. – Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)