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Summary: Believers must be careful to avoid being ungrateful to God.

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How to Avoid Being Miserable This Thanksgiving

Luke 15:25-32

Nov. 20, 2005 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor

Introduction:

A A woman went to visit her sister’s farm & noticed a pig limping around on a wooden leg.

1 The sister said, "Oh, Betsy is a wonderful pig!"

a Oinked & woke us up when the house was on fire. Saved us & the house.

b Oinked when our youngest fell in the pond & got our attention so we could save her.

c That’s amazing...but how did the pig get the wooden leg?

d The sister replied, "Well, when you have a pig that special, you don’t want to eat her all at once!"

2 Gratitude/thankfulness didn’t run very deep for the three-legged hero.

3 How deep does your gratitude run for God?

4 We’ve got so much to be thankful for, but will stay miserable.

B "Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 "And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. 27 "And he said to him, ’Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 "But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29 "But he answered and said to his father, ’Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ 31 "And he said to him, ’Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 ’But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’ " Luke 15:25-32 (NASB)

1 (ETS) The older brother’s angst made him anything but thankful

2 (ESS) Believers must be careful to avoid becoming ungrateful to God

C (OBJ) I hope my listeners will examine how in sync their heart is with the Father’s heart.

1 (PQ) What will you do to avoid being miserable this Thanksgiving?

2 (TS) Let’s look at some things that get our hearts out of sync with the heart of the Father.

I The first thing that can get our hearts out of sync with the heart of the Father is...keep records of wrongs.

A The eldest brother never forgot anything that happened to him that he saw as unfair/unjust.

1 He didn’t forget the sins of lil’ brother

a The lil’ brother had wasted the family inheritance, tarnished the family name, ran with harlots.

b Anything the lil’ brother did that big bro perceived as wrong was filed on the hard drive of his heart.

2 He also recorded his grievances against his daddy. "But he answered and said to his father, ’Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’

a "You never threw a party for me." Smoldering discontent

b "For many years I’ve been serving you." I’ve been your slave

c V. 30 "You forgave him!" Mad because the father forgave

3 This brother was single & living at home because no woman could stand to be around him!

a Never let anything go! Stayed mad for days!

b Remember 7 years ago when you said...

B Many of us can identify with the elder brother because we’re still angry at the doctor who slapped our bottom in the delivery room.

1 There are several (flawed) reasons people keep records:

a We take ourselves way too seriously

aa We see every BBQ as a forest fire! Everything is a catastrophe

bb (IL) Lake is so stoic & serious when going to the restroom in a public place. He thinks everyone is watching him!

cc Take what you do seriously, but not yourself.

b We believe life is supposed to be fair.

aa Good things happen to good people & vice versa

bb Sometimes you don’t get what you deserve

cc Thank God! I deserve hell, I’m getting heaven. Life isn’t fair when we measure business, but neither is eternity for all of us who call Jesus "Lord."

c We feel we’re owed something

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