Summary: Learning about thanksgiving from Paul and Barnabas’ experience in Lystra
SERIES: “LESSONS FROM THE EARLY CHURCH”
TEXT: ACTS 14:8-20 (read with points)
TITLE: “THOUGHTS ON LIVING WITH THANKSGIVING”
INTRODUCTION: A. In certain regions of Mexico, hot and cold springs are found side by side. Because
of the convenience of this natural phenomenon, the women often bring their laundry,
boil their clothes in the hot springs, and then rinse them in the cold springs.
A tourist watching this procedure turned to his Mexican guide and commented,
“They must think that God is generous to freely supply such ample, clean hot and cold
water.” The guide replied, “No senor, there is much grumbling because He supplied
B. November isn’t the only time of the year in which we should be thankful
1. 1 Thess. 5:18 – “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in
2. Sophocles (c. 447 BC) – “Ignorant men don’t know what good they hold in their
hands until they’ve flung it away.”
3. There are some principles of living with thanksgivings that are illustrated in our
passage this evening
I. BE THANKFUL FOR FAITH (whether any else hat it or not)
--Acts 14:8-9 – “In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never
walked. 9He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be
healed 10and called out, "Stand up on your feet!" At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
A. Heb. 11:1 – “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
1. Imagine that you’re walking on a mountain path on a cloudy, moonless night with no flashlight. In fact,
there is no source of light whatsoever.
a. You know there is a very deep ravine that you’re going to have to cross over on a footbridge
--But you’ve also seen that bridge earlier in the day and also saw someone else cross it
b. Very carefully you walk that path know that the bridge is there even though you can’t see it
2. Have you ever looked for something you couldn’t find but you knew it was there even though you
couldn’t see it?
3. Both of those scenarios describe operating on faith.
B. People, both Christians and non-Christians, operate on some level of faith everyday
1. When you walk to the water faucet in the kitchen, place a glass under it, and turn the know, you’re
expecting water to come out.
--There’s no absolute guarantee that water is going to come out but you’ve seen it do it before and you
have faith that it will do it again.
2. When you walk into your house and flick that little switch on the wall, you expect a light to come one
--There’s no absolute guarantee that flicking that switch will turn on the electricity that makes the light
bulb light up, but you’ve seen it happen enough that you have faith that it will do it again.
C. Hebrews Chapter 11 contains a great “Hall of Faith” comprised of people from the Old Testament: Abel,
Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Gideon and so on to the end of the chapter.
1. All of these people lived their lives in expectation that God would do what He had promised
2. By their faithfulness, they enjoyed God’s faithfulness.
D. Heb. 12:1-3 – “ Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off
everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race
marked out for us.”
1. All those people who have lived before us and are our ancestors in the faith have proved God’s
faithfulness over and over again.
2. They are our encouragement when our faith begins to falter
3. We need to be thankful for the faith of those who have gone before us
--Both those mentioned in the Bible and the ones who have lived since the 1st century up till today
a. Without their example and encouragement we would falter and fail
b. We need to look at their example and realize their faith was not perfect but it was grounded in the
God who is always faithful and know that He will continue to remain faithful throughout eternity
E. Faith is essential and vital for us to live lives pleasing to God:
1. Heb. 10:38 – Has God saying: “But the righteous will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not
be please with Him.” (italics mine)
2. Heb. 11:6 – “And without faith, it is impossible to please God…”
F. It was Paul’s faith in Christ that gave the witness that caused the lame man to have faith