Summary: We need times of Thanksgiving to give balance to all the times we face criticism and complaints.

Thankful Living

2 Corinthians 9:11-15

Aren’t you glad we have annual Thanksgiving celebrations? For one thing you can get all the great food you would ever want. You can also watch all the football you would ever want to see. It is also a time to get together with your family and relatives and enjoy the fellowship with each another.

We need times of Thanksgiving to give balance to all the times we face criticism and complaints.

Rev. John Haiggai in his book, “How to Win Over Worry,” describes how people are who need to experience thankful living. Without experiencing a life of thanksgiving and praise people walk around with a face long enough to eat ice cream out of a pipe. The thankless person shuffles into church dragging his lower lip behind him. He slides into a pew chair and flips his lower lip over the back of the chair in front of him. He looks as happy as the skeleton and cross-bones on a bottle of poison.

The Apostle Paul says, “Tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers.” (Philippians 4:6b - Living Bible)

People who fail to live a thankful life continually look on the negative side of life.

I read about a pastor who knew a lady 29 years of age who maintained an expression on her face that looked like the advance agent of a coming tornado. She enjoyed her poor health. Her house looked like a tornado at him and her general appearance looked like an accident going somewhere to happen. She would come out of the front door of the church following the church service and shake the pastor’s hand. Her hand would be so limp the Pastor would feel like handing it back to her. The Pastor would greet her, “How are you?” She would tell him and give him a physical organ recital as she spewed out her tales of woe. The Pastor said he learned not to ask that question. In stead he determined to help her.

When he shook her hand, he really shook it. He gave her his finest smile and said, “Wow, you look so much better today. You must be feeling better.” Actually within a few months she actually did look better.

From Scripture we learn the importance of living a thankful, generous life?

I. Thankful Living results in Giving Praise and Thanks to God.

Scripture teaches that when you give generously to help others your giving results in people giving thanks to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11 “Yes, you will be enriched so that you can give even more generously. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will break out in thanksgiving to God.”

Because of a great famine in Jerusalem, Paul was taking an offering for the needs of the Christians in the city. Paul stated that when he took their generous offering to Jerusalem the Christians there would break out in thankfulness to God for supplying their needs. The generous giving by Christians in Corinth would be an answer to prayer of the church in Jerusalem.

Have you noticed how your giving to help meet the needs of someone else not only gave them a blessing but it also resulted in your being blessed. In the book of Acts the Apostle Paul quoted Jesus as saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)

People who fail to live thankful lives choose to be miserable. The word miserable comes from the word “miser.” Misers are miserable people.

Why do you suppose the Bible has so much to say about living a generous life? The Bible has 272 words for “believe,” and references to prayer are listed 371 times, love is listed 714 times, but giving has 2,161 references in the Bible.

The Bible has a lot to say about how we use wealth and money because selfish living results in a person having no respect or appreciation for God and His blessings.

Jesus illustrated this truth in the parable he told in Luke 12:16-21. NLT

What was the primary problem of the rich man? Ambition wasn’t his problem. There’s nothing wrong with ambition. It’s not a sin to build bigger and better things. The sin is when God is forgotten and not included in the building plans.

The primary problem was the man’s greed and selfishness. Note how often he uses “I” and “My.” “I will build…I will store all my grain, and my goods.”

It is greed that causes us to spend beyond our means. Larry Burkett, a Christian financial expert, says that 95% of the couples he has counseled were in financial trouble due to overspending by ….. Do you say the wife or husband? 95% of the couples were in financial trouble because of the husbands overspending. Women tend to splurge on things like clothes and food. Men tend to splurge on things like new cars, boats, and airplanes.

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