Summary: Scripture admonished us to be thankful in all circumstances. This means our thanksgiving is to be continual and not contingent. 3 reasons for "continual thanksgiving"
“Thanksgiving Vs. Thanks-living (part 2)”
Intro: The fact that God expects us to thank Him for His blessings in our lives, is evident in the words of Jesus, to the one lone ex-leper who returned to thank Him.
Luke 17:15 “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. 17Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?”
1. God not only deserves our thanks, but He also desires them. He wants us to be grateful for His goodness, and not to take it for granted.
2. I trust that each of you took time out this past week to re-count your blessings and thank God for everything He’s done for you.
3. But remember, as I said last week, God doesn’t want our thanksgiving to be limited to one Thursday in November, - He wants us to continually thank Him. He wants us to live a life of thankfulness.
4. Remember the words of Paul?
I Thessalonians 5:18 “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Ephesians 5:19 Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always : and again I say, Rejoice.
5. The apostle Paul made it clear that our giving of thanks is to be continual and not contingent. That it is to be ongoing in spite of our circumstances, not just because everything is going well.
6. Paul was able to maintain an attitude of gratitude even though he faced some very devastating circumstances, because he held onto a proper perspective of both God and His circumstances.
a) he knew that God was good all the time
b) and consequently, he knew that a good God would only allow circumstances that would ultimately result in something good.
· His attitude - Since God is good, then this bad circumstance must be meant to bring about some further good in or through my life, or else God would not have allowed it.
Genesis 50:19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
What a accurate picture of the pain and suffering, of all the negative stuff, that we have to face in this life – It all originates from satan, who intends to harm us, but when
God allows it to happen, it can only mean He has something good in store.
Remember, as I said last week in the case of Paul in prison and in the example of Joseph here, sometimes the good that God wants to bring through our suffering is intended for someone else.
7. But don’t forget, such gratitude requires us to maintain the proper perspective of God and our circumstances.
a) speaking of having a proper perspective – listen to this poem from Thursday’s newspaper.
8. Knowing that God expects us to live a life of thanksgiving rather than offering limited thanks, and knowing that we must never lose sight of God’s goodness, and God’s hand at work in everything we face – I want to share you with you now three reasons why our thanksgiving must be continual and not contingent.
FIRST OF ALL, BECAUSE THE WORLD IS WATCHING AND LISTENING.
How many parents, have ever had to repeat something to your child / children, because they weren’t listening the first time? (raise your hand – look around you, you’re not alone)
How many parents have ever said something that you wished your child hadn’t heard, because you knew they would repeat it to others?
(ill.) It’s like the story of the little boy, who goes up to the preacher after the service and tells him, “when I grow up and get a job, I’m going to give you some of my money.” The preacher pats him on the head and replies, “well, that’s awful nice of you son, but why would you want to do that?” The boy replies, “because when you were preaching I heard my daddy whisper to mommy, “that’s the poorest preacher, I’ve ever heard.”
Isn’t it amazing how selective hearing works with kids? It seems like they rarely hear what you want them to hear, and yet they always hear what you don’t want them to hear.
The same can be said about the relationship of the believer to the world.
While the world seems to ignore the “good news” we try to share with them, they seem to be all ears, when negative circumstances come our way: