Summary: Jesus was thankful! And He wants us to have a thankful heart like His. What was the Lord thankful for?
Look at the Lord’s Thankful Heart
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - Nov. 29, 2009
*One of the best parts of our trip home last month was eating breakfast with Gary & Lisa. They are old friends from high school days. Gary has been through a lot of troubles over the years. Eleven years ago, he was thrown 60 feet in a motorcycle wreck. Gary almost died. He lost an eye, has one leg shorter than the other, and has been through 20 surgeries. But at breakfast he said, “You can always look around and see someone else that’s had it a lot worse than you.”
*Gary told us about saying that to a lady in a doctor’s waiting room, and the lady replied, “For me, that person a lot worse off is YOU.”
*But Gary has a great attitude.
-He is thankful for his loving wife of 36 years.
-Thankful for his 3 daughters and his 7 grandchildren.
-Thankful he can see. -- Thankful he is learning to play the guitar.
-Thankful that although his mom was too sick with cancer to come to church for his baptism, she got to see it on TV. The large church they attend never shows baptisms on TV, but that day, by the providence of God, they did.
*Gary is thankful for all of God’s blessings in his life. And he was the inspiration for our 30 Days of Thanksgiving. Now we are near the end of our special emphasis. But before we move on to Christmas, it’s a good idea to take a good look at the Lord’s thankful heart. Jesus was thankful! And He wants us to have a thankful heart like His. So what was the Lord thankful for?
1. First: Jesus was thankful for His relationship with the Father.
*In John 11, we are getting very close to the cross. Jesus’ good friend Lazarus has died. But Jesus is about to perform one of the most amazing miracles you can imagine. He is going to raise Lazarus from the dead, not after he had been dead for 4 minutes or 4 hours, -- no, Lazarus had been dead for 4 whole days!
*Down in vs. 43&44, Jesus simply cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!’’ And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go.’’
*When the Lord first arrived on that scene of grief, He was moved to tears by the pain of Lararus’ loved ones. Jesus was also burdened by the unbelief He saw in so many of the people. But at the same time, the Lord overflowed with gratitude. Jesus was thankful for His relationship with His Heavenly Father, and we see this in vs. 39-42:
39. Jesus said, "Take away the stone.’’ Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.’’
40. Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?’’
41. Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.
42. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.’’
*Jesus was thankful for the rock-solid relationship He had with His Heavenly Father. Jesus was thankful to know that He was always in perfect oneness with the Father; thankful to know that the Father always heard His prayers.
*Now by the grace of God, we can have a close relationship with the Heavenly Father. It comes through faith in Jesus Christ.
-Trusting in His cross. -- Trusting in the price Jesus paid for our sins.
-Trusting in the power of His resurrection to give us eternal life.
*When we trust in the Lord, His Father becomes our Father.
-And we never get to the end of things to be thankful for.
-But above all, we can be thankful for the relationship we have with God.
*Our Heavenly Father is never far away, always on the job, always there to watch over His children. Pastor Dan Ivins gives insight through a story from his childhood. Dan said that his room was right next to his Mamma and Daddy’s, but when he got scared, it felt so far away. And little Dan did get scared sometimes.
-When the floor squeaked, he thought it was a robber.
-When the window rattled, he thought it was a tornado.