Summary: We take for granted the fellowship and salvation we enjoy in the church, we MUST be thankful!
Date Written: October 1, 2006
Date Preached: October 1, 2006
Where Preached: OZHBC (PM)
Sermon Series: A Study in Colossians
Sermon Title: Thankful for the Church
Sermon Text:: Col 1:3-8
3 We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints ; 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven , of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel 6 which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing , even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth; 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, 8 and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit. Col 1:3-8 (NASB)
In his book, The Power of Giving Thanks, Jeff Jacoby tells us that in a sense, gratitude is really an expression of modesty. The Hebrew word for gratitude is hoda’ah – and it is also the same word that is used for confession.
To offer thanks is to confess dependence, to acknowledgment that others have the power to benefit you, to admit that your life is better because of their efforts. That frame of mind is indispensable to civilized society.
When it comes to the circumstances of life and what happens to you each day, how do you respond? Do you respond with gratitude, grit, or grouch? And is your response determined by your circumstance or by your character? I want all of you to grab a pen and some paper for a short test… that should help you to find out just WHERE you are in this matter!
I just want you to answer a, b or c… nothing else!
Question 1: You are in the 20 item cash only line at Walmart with your 2 cans of green beans and 1 can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup and a fresh $20 bill from your ATM machine in your hand.
But the person in front of you has 30 items and a checkbook in their back pocket. How do you respond?
A. With gratitude for the Green Bean Bake your family will enjoy when you get back home…or do you…
B. Grit your teeth and wonder if the guy ahead of you failed both math AND reading in school…or do you…
C. Yell at the cashier, “Checkout Line Violation -- 15 items! 15 items!”
Question 2: You receive a letter from the IRS, stating you will soon be receiving a $1,000 refund on your tax return, how do you respond?
A. With gratitude that you live in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave…or do you…
B. Grit your teeth about the other $10,000 you paid in taxes last year…or do you…
C. Rip the letter to shreds while demanding more!
Question 3: You are driving your children to school, and as you drop them off, the car in front of you decides to just park there, trapping you in the school parking lot. How do you respond?
A. Do you look out the window and give thanks for this time to stop and smell the roses and car fumes….or do you…
B. Grab the steering wheel tighter as steam comes out of your ears...or do you…
C. Honk your horn continuously until you have alerted every one in the school and your children run and hide…
Question 4: You are watching your football team play on Sunday, and they win by a touchdown in a close game. How do you respond?
A. Stand up and start singing “Oh When the Saints…”or do you…
B. Wring your hands in worry over the game next week... or do you…
C. Begin calling all the sports radio stations and complaining about how we should have won by 3 touchdowns…
• If you had all B’s for your answers, you need to take a breath, chill out and relax.
• If you had all C’s for your answers, you may need therapy.
• If you had all A’s, you need to teach this message.
If you had a mixture of A’s, B’s, and C’s, welcome to the club. I am not surprised when people are grateful when life goes right. I am surprised and a bit envious when life goes wrong, and people respond with a grateful heart.
I want to be able to respond to all of life with gratitude, not grit, and not grouch, but a grateful heart to God. What I have observed in such people and in rare moments for myself is that the gratitude God gives changes my perspective about life.