Summary: The sins and wickedness of thanklessness and ingratitude have infiltrated the lives of everyone and is even found in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. This has got to stop and we need to repent.
There is a severe shortage of gratitude today, almost to the point of extinction. People are not thankful for favors, gifts, promotions, wealth, family, our homes, our health, or the jobs they have. We now possess the ugly and selfish attitude that we are somehow owed these things, and very few people will stop to bow their head and thank God for anything or anyone. We have become self-centered ungrateful thugs who would not stop to help anyone even if their life depended on it, or so it seems. The unfortunate part of all of this is that this devilish attitude has crept into the one place where it needs to be confronted and rebuked, and that is the present-day church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
A lot of folks tend to believe that once they have been redeemed (or so they think), they somehow gain the privilege of achieving goals and objectives in their own way and will give the LORD a polite nod every so often for providing them with handy-dandy "fire insurance" and little else. There are a lot of spiritual lightweights in the body of Christ who think that the phrase, "God helps those who help themselves" is in the Bible and then go on to plan events as their little old hearts desire without consulting the LORD for counsel, advice, and assurance.
The last two messages on prayer as it pertained to the work of Nehemiah showed that while there is nothing wrong with planning and development on our part, it is the Sovereign LORD who makes the final decision on whether our plans fly of fail. Nehemiah knew this, as did many of the men and women we read of in Scripture, but somewhere on the trail, we figured that we could all things through ourselves and lose the strength that Jesus Christ could have provided if we would have but bowed the knee, dropped the ego, and submitted to His will in the first place.
We desperately need to fall on our faces before the Sovereign Lord God Almighty and repent in tears and sorrow over how we act and talk as if we are on the throne of our lives and not Him. We need to return to having attitudes of thanksgiving and graciousness seeing that the LORD is the One who has provided for our needs, our talents and gifts, our lives, and all we have in spite of ourselves. Let us look at the need for thankfulness and how it affects our prayers before God. In short, we could all use an attitude adjustment.
Why should I be thankful? I live in the greatest nation God ever allowed to exist save for Israel, and that is the United States of America, and unlike former presidents, I will not apologize for our nation's achievements and exceptionalism. I have been around the world and have seen both wealth and poverty, plenty and little, and saw the standard of living in other nations, and I returned to this country with gratefulness for what I had as a citizen. I am in fairly good health for a senior adult and i am thankful for the redemption from sins through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection that sealed it once and for all. I am thankful for my wife of nearly forty years and for my children. I am thankful for my friends and associates. I am thankful that I have little monetary debt, and I am thankful for the ability to present the gospel of Jesus Christ on the internet by sites such as these and my own blog, as well as having had the opportunity to preach in person to varied congregations and gatherings over the years.
I should always be thankful because it is the command of God as it honors Him and places Him first in our lives. It reminds me that I am dependent on Him and am grateful for the undeserved blessings that he has given to me and my family. My thankfulness to Him strengthens my own testimony and provides evidence that the God whom I serve is real, personal, and always present, affirming my faith and trust in Him even more. I am grateful to God for the material blessings He has provided such as food, clothing, and shelter, law and order, good weather, and protection from the elements and malevolent people. I can come to Him anytime and present my requests to Him (Hebrews 4:16). I am thankful for the times He has spared my life. In the past forty years I have come close to falling overboard a rig in the Persian Gulf, nearly died in an industrial fire, was bitten by a wild animal, became seriously ill in India with no medical aid nearby, nearly blinded by a chemical spray, the skin of my right arm torn off in a bike accident, fell off the roof of a three story house and had to drive myself to the nearest ER as I was alone, and I was run over by a truck in late 2016 and had a large portion of my left foot torn nearly to the bone. Last of all, I was diagnosed in 2018 with kidney problems and asthma. You better believe I've been more than thankful for His protective mercy. So, what will your excuse be this coming Sunday for missing church?