Monday, January 17, 2011

Gods Will is for His people to be Thankful

Gods Will is for His people to be Thankful
1 Thessalonians 5:12-18

Great to be here! We are always thankful, and that is the key word today thankfulness, Thanksgiving, and yes we are always very thankful when we can be a part of what God is doing here at Open Bible! We tremendously appreciate the saints of God here and there is a spirit here that is very uplifting!
My message today is entitled: Gods will is for His people to be Thankful
1 Thessalonians 5:12-18
• Gods will is for His people to be Thankful
• Gods will is for His people to be Thankful in everything
• Gods will is for His people to give thanks
This is Gods will for His people and this is very clear! There may be some things about the will of God that may be a little fuzzy, but not when it comes to this matter being thankful. This is a clear undisputable will of God for His people!
Now thankfulness is not a natural tendency. In other words just because this is Gods will does not mean that this is something that we will automatically do! We are not born with an AG degree. I was listening to Adrian Rogers recently and he was admonishing Gods people to obtain an AG degree after they receive their BA degree! The BA degree is being born again, and the AG degree is an attitude of gratitude! Well just as we are not born with a BA degree, that is received when we trust Christ as our Savior, we are also not born with an AG degree. What characterizes is lost person is not gratitude but ingratitude and to show you this turn to the epistle to the Romans chapter 1:18-21. Now you might think this is bad but it gets worse, it gets a lot worst! Look at verse 22….and sandwiched between all this is that little phrase in verse 21 “neither were thankful”. This shows me that if you show me a heart that is void of thanksgiving, show me a heart that has no gratitude for the God that created them and that is a person that is capable of performing any sin that a depraved, wicked heart can imagine and that is the potential of every lost person outside of Christ! Now that is not very encouraging I know but this just makes the Gospel all the more beautiful, for this we can like Paul but thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift! So glorious is this gift especially when we look at it on the black canvas of our sin that Paul’s vocabulary would not suffice so he calls it an unspeakable gift! This is what we have in Jesus Christ and this is what we have in the gospel! Thank God! Thank God! and Thank God and this is Gods will!
Let’s look at the text briefly. In this text Paul gives us a list of practical admonitions that come at us in machine gun like fashion!
Vs 12, know them
Vs 13, esteem them
Vs 14, exhort=urge you, admonish, strong insistence
Vs 15, among yourselves and to all men
Vs 16, rejoice evermore=rejoice always! Rejoice continually, without ceasing!
Vs 17, pray without ceasing=continual lifestyle of prayer!
Vs 18, in everything give thanks
Everything-not just good things, but bad things, indifferent…In everything, not a matter of feeling, not a matter desire, not a matter of choice; this is God’s will, so do it! Not open to discussion, do it! Be thankful! This is Gods purpose and this is not a suggestion, but a command! In connection with all areas of life we are to be a thankful people! Thanksgiving is nice, but we are to be thankful at all times regardless of the season of the year. Christians are to be characterized by thankfulness! Got it?
The text says give thanks –That means say it, show it, and mean it, from the heart, meaningful, live the life of thankfulness and live it continually! Continual thanksgiving!
This is the will of God. In other words this is Gods purpose for you! This is Gods design for your life! This is Gods direction for your life!
Sadly many even among Gods people are not cultivating a heart of thanksgiving. Why? Why is there ingratitude in God house? Where is our heart of Thanksgiving? Why are we not more thankful? Why do we need a day of Thanksgiving? Are we too busy to be thankful? Are we too consumed with self that we forget?

Perhaps we have it too good! Perhaps God has treated us too well!

We are stuffed with more food than we need, with more things than we have a place for, and with more comforts than we can manage!

God gave it, and we are busy consuming and not thanking!

We appreciate it so little
We take it for granted
We forget He gave it
We are never satisfied with it
We are always wanting for more

I pray that this day of Thanksgiving will be full of joy in your homes!
I pray that your homes will be full of all the things that makes this day so special, and I pray that as this…permeates your home it will last not just be for a day but for all times, and all seasons! Seasons of plenty, seasons of little, seasons of disappointment, seasons of joy, seasons of loss, seasons of sorrow, and seasons of merry…

Now how do I know this is Gods will for his people because it says in Christ Jesus! Look at the text (vs. 18)
In Christ Jesus! The believer is in Christ Jesus that is as opposed to being in sin, or in Adam or in the world, or in Satan; we are in Christ Jesus! We are in Christ Jesus!
We were crucified w/Christ
We were buried w/Christ
We rose in newness of life w/Christ
We were washed in His blood
We have new life in Christ Jesus
We are in Him! We are His! We belong to Him! And for this and so much more we should be thankful!
It is Gods will that you be thankful! Why? Why are you thankful today?

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