Summary: Five ways the Bible tells us we can express our gratitude to God.
We read in the Bible that Solomon was the richest man in the world. Maybe you’ve found yourself thinking, “What a lucky man he was!”
--But Solomon, with all his gold, never enjoyed the benefits of electricity.
--He never owned an air conditioner, never talked on a telephone, never drove a car or flew in an airplane.
--Solomon never experienced the joy and benefit of a flush toilet, never tasted a hot, freshly-baked chocolate chip cookie.
--When he got a cold, he couldn’t run down to the store and pick up a bottle of Nyquil to help him sleep better.
--He never listened to a radio or viewed a television, let alone be able to e-mail a friend or send a text message to anyone.
--In fact, we have numerous luxuries surrounding us that we consider ordinary, but Solomon, the richest man in the world, never even dreamed of such luxury.
As we noted last week, we should be demonstrating a 24-7 attitude of gratitude for all God has blessed us with.
--And this Thursday is the day many people will finally take time to stop and count their blessings.
<>But being aware of what we should be thankful for, and knowing how to express our thanks to God are two different things.
Today, we want to go beyond having an attitude of gratitude and look at HOW we can express our thanks to God.
I invite you to open a Bible and turn once again to Luke 17.
--ILL>While you’re turning, I recently found this list of seven things mothers can be thankful for:
----Automatic dishwashers -- They make it possible to get out of the kitchen before the family comes back in for their after-dinner snacks.
----Husbands who attack small repair jobs around the house -- They usually make them big enough to call in professionals.
----The bathtub -- The one place the family usually allows mom some time to herself.
----Children who put away their things and clean up after themselves -- They’re such a joy you hate to see them go home to their own parents.
----Gardening -- It’s a relief to deal with dirt outside the house for a change.
----Teenagers -- They give parents an opportunity to learn a second language.
----And smoke alarms -- They let you know when the turkey is done.
Last week we noted that having an attitude of gratitude allows us to have a changed perspective, to be able to see good stuff even in tough times.
<>But there’s still more to truly understanding and in truly pursuing thanks.
--ILL>One Thanksgiving season, a family was seated around the Thanksgiving Day table, looking at the annual holiday bird. From the oldest to the youngest, they were to express their thanks. The last to speak, when they finally came to the five-year old in the family, he began by looking at the turkey, expressing thanks for the turkey, saying that although he had not yet tasted it he knew it would be good. Then he went on to thank his mother for cooking the turkey, and his father for buying the turkey. But he went beyond that...he joined together a multitude of those he wanted to say thank you to: He expressed thanks for the checker at the grocery store who checked out the turkey, the grocery store employees who put the turkey on the shelf, the farmer who made the turkey fat, the man who made the feed that the turkey ate, and even those who brought the turkey to the store. In a Columbo-like little mind, he traced the turkey all the way from its origin to his plate. Then, in the end, he asked, “Did I leave anybody out?” His smart-aleck older brother, embarrassed by the proceedings to this point, then said, “You left out God.” Without being flustered at all, the five-year old said, “I was about to get to Him.”
<>Well, true thanks begins with recognizing that it is God who is the giver of all good things.
Today I want us to look at...
FIVE WAYS THE BIBLE TEACHES US IN HOW WE CAN EXPRESS OUR THANKS TO GOD...*
1) SPEAKING OUR GRATITUDE. -- Stopping to say, “Thank you.”
--Luke 17:15-16 -- ”...one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back...glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him.”
It’s not really that hard, but it’s often times neglected.
--ILL>A Vermont couple was sitting together, swinging in their front porch swing. They had been together forty-two years. The husband looked over at his wife, and in his Vermont “close to the vest, stiff upper lift” way, said to her, “Wife, you have been so wonderful to me all these years, I can hardly keep from telling you.”