The Grateful & the Dead 11-18

Kingdom, Lord's Prayer, Kingdom of God, Sermon, Church, Series, Church of God, Dayton, Pennsylvania, PA, Rural Valley, Numine, Yatesboro, Smicksburg

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Please remember that sermon notes are meant to act as a guide and may not necessarily be what was preached.

Luke 17:11-19, Ephesians 2:1-10

If you could be anyone in the bible…

Culture of entitlement: God owes us nothing…. Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23 wages, dead But He give us all we need and more! Not because He has to but because He wants a relationship with us, He wants none to perish and all to come to repentance/wholeness!

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown; but we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.” – Abraham Lincoln

Vs. 19 Living a life of gratitude, regardless of circumstances, releases God to bring levels of wholeness to our broken lives. Spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, social

Many in our culture are ungrateful for the blessings we all receive like food, shelter, clothing, employment, and family. Some have no understanding of what they have, they take it for granted, and feel that they are entitled to what they receive. It is theirs by right of life. But God warns us not to be ungrateful.

In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 we read, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” We know we are in the last days, Hebrews 1:2 tells us, “in these last days,” that Christ could come at any moment.

But are we ready, are we truly thankful, do we go about with an attitude of gratitude? Are you building a relationship in and through prayer for all that He has done? Are you walking in His will? Because there are many who attend church, who claim Christianity, who say they are in the Kingdom, who claim knowledge of God that are not part of God’s Kingdom here nor will they enter heaven unless there is change.

In Matthew 7:21 we read, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Romans 1:21 warns us about the ungrateful who know God and do not honor Him,“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (emphasis added).

They, the ones who do not acknowledge God, the ungrateful, are not only “out there” but also attending church.  We’ve all heard them gripe and whine – they have forgotten where God has brought them from. They think they have nothing to be thankful for and have slipped back into selfish ways.

Being thankful is the opposite of being selfish, a selfish person says, “Why am I going through this?” They focus on the difficulties and tribulations they are experiencing in their lives and think, “ I don’t deserve to be treated like this.” They don’t stop to think what it is that they actually deserve! But when we shift our focus off of our trials and tribulations, and focus on what we have instead of what we don’t, we can count our blessings, praise God and live a life of gratefulness. The ungrateful can also be very “I did this! I deserve the accolades, the recognition, the applause. Look at all that I do for___________.”

“ Look what I accomplished!” “ I worked hard to get to where I am, to have the things I have!” These self-made are always patting themselves on the back for what they have done.

But a grateful person, a mature Christian, realizes that the life they have is a gift from God and any blessings received came from Him. In fact, God’s Word in James tells us that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…” The believer says that everything I have – abilities, talents, and the things I possess – is a gift from God. I would not be who I am without Him.

In the Kingdom we know that we are “post turtles.” Post turtles realize that apart from God they would never have gotten to the place they are, they are the ones who are answering the call, they are in the Kingdom not because of what they did, but because of Him who placed them there. These are the ones who say with the psalmist in the 100th Psalm, “I Know that the Lord, He is God. It is He that made us, and we are His, we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.”  And they come to Him with thanksgiving.

turtle-on-a-fence-post

Practical steps to being thankful:

  1. Count your blessings. If you journal, write three blessings down you received that day.  Or share three things you are thankful for on Social Media. You could even start a gratitude journal. 
  2. Show gratitude to others, go out of your way to be thankful to your neighbor, you know, those who you are with “in the now”, especially those you live with…               
  3. Focus on the good moments, not on the bad. Everyone of us goes through bad things as well as good. Make a choice to concentrate on the good! Philippians 4

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins – Ephesians 2:1

Digging Deeper

  • What are you thankful for?
  • How are you living out your gratitude/thankfulness in The Kingdom/for the King?  

Further Reading: Psalm 100, Psalm 106:1, Psalm 107:1, Psalm 136:1, Romans 1:18-25 (21), Philippians 4:4-7 (6), 2 Timothy 3:1-5, James 1:17, Philippians 2:14-15, Philippians 4:11-14

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