Sunday Morning 11-25-2012

Posted by Sherry

Thankful Living 
1 Thessalonians 5:18
CBC 11/25/2012

Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 AMP)

It’s clear from this passage that thankfulness is supposed to be a regular part of our lives. 
gratefulness is emphasized here because it is the perfect antidote to pride and selfishness and a host of other sins.

what is the opposite of thankfulness? 
a sense of entitlement. 

Our sin nature wants to try and convince us that we deserve more, 
that we are in the right, 
that we have been taken advantage of,
that we really have it bad. 
a few people always seem to be victims, 
they always seem to feel like they should get more, 
they always complain about what they have or what they are given. 
That’s not what we are supposed to be like as believers.

Thinking thankfully 
Philippians 4:6 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

In this passage the way in which we keep from anxiousness and worry is through prayer. 
When we present our requests to God, 
and give control over to Him, 
our load gets a lot lighter. 
When we pray with thanksgiving we are 
thanking God for the ability to pray, 
we are thanking him for answering our prayers, 
we are thanking Him for freeing us from worry. 
When we pray with thankfulness to God it has a way of adjusting our thinking so that it falls in line with what God wants. 

Worship also has a way of putting us in a mindset of thankfulness. 
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 
It’s hard to be grumpy, and bitter, and selfish when we are singing joyfully to the Lord, 
although I think sometimes we try. 
lifts our spirits,
focuses our attention on God, 
puts us in an attitude of praise. 
* If that’s not happening to you when you sing, then you might be doing it wrong

Dwelling on the good. Our minds can sometimes be uncooperative. 
They keep wandering back to that nagging money problem, 
or some temptation
or to past failures, 
or other unproductive things. 

Have you ever noticed that sometimes when you are just chilling out or relaxing or spacing out in church, how a weird, random thought will cross your mind? 
Sometimes the strangest stuff just shows up there. 
Because of natural inclination towards evil, we have to train our minds to think about good things. 
We have to purposefully dwell on the good. 

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-- think about such things.

This is a great thought filter. 
Ask yourself; 
are my thoughts...
If not, it might be time to make an 

Talking Thankfully. 
It is important to express our gratitude from time to time. 
Talking thankfully involves 
praising others, 
praising God, 
sharing our gratitude. 
When was the last time you told your spouse, “I’m really thankful that I’m married to you.”? 
Do you tell you kids that you appreciate them? 
Do you thank your wife for cooking dinner and doing the laundry? 

Do you let God know how thankful you are for what He has done in your life? 
If you are a believer in God, saved by grace, you have a lot to be thankful for. 
No matter how bad life gets, you still can’t complain. 

It is also important that we verbally tell others what we are grateful for. 
Do you practice the tradition to go around the table at thanksgiving time and share what you are thankful for?
We all have so much to be thankful for. 
It is so amazing what God is doing in our lives.

Acting Thankfully. 
We need to demonstrate a life of thankfulness in everything we do. 
That begins with a heart of service
Serving is a demonstration of 
and love. 
It can be done in a selfish, ungrateful way, 
but when it is done right, 
it is a blessing both to the server and the servee.
1 Timothy 1:12 12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.
Are you thankful for the area of service that God has called you to?
Acting thankfully also involves sacrifice. 
It requires us to give something of ourselves. 
This is best demonstrated in our financial offerings to God. 
Giving back to God is a way of thanking Him for his blessing and provision. 
Even if we don’t have a lot, or a lot to give, when we give back to God we show that we understand that He owns it all anyway. 
Don’t give out of guilt or compulsion. 
Every time you write an offering check or put a dollar in the offering plate, take a second to say, thank you God for everything you have given me. 

Finally, we can act thankfully by sharing what we have. 
This might take the form of sharing some of our abundance with those who don’t have as much. 
It might be sharing with the homeless or needy. 
People who really understand thankfulness and appreciation usually are very good at sharing with others. 
They know how great it feels to give.
This doesn’t just apply to sharing our stuff, 
but, more importantly, sharing our faith. 
If you have a real understanding of who Jesus Christ is, 
what He has done for all mankind, 
and what He has done in your life, 
you are going to be looking for every opportunity to share that with others. 

We can best show our appreciation for our salvation by praising God and telling others. If our faith is truly transforming, and valuable, and important, we will share it with those who don’t have it. 

The best thing about living a thankful life is that it helps us put things into perspective. When we focus on the great things that God has done for us, ...
the annoying junk in life has a way of losing its importance. 
During this thanksgiving seasons let’s begin to train our minds to think thankfully. 
Let’s take the opportunity to talk thankfully, 
and let’s demonstrate our appreciation by acting thankfully

1 Thessalonians 5:18 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

If you are not giving thanks, you are out of God’s will.


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