What are some of the things you guys are thankful for and why? (Get answers from class) We all have something to be thankful to God for. And even if you don't have that much as far as material things or even a very good home life, God has still given you much to be thankful for. If you've accepted Christ into your heart as your Lord and Savior, you can be thankful for victory over death. You can be thankful for deliverance from your sins and salvation. You can be thankful for God's love, mercy, and grace.
Unfortunately, sometimes we forget about all the good things that God has done for us and promised to us, and we lose focus and become ungrateful or indifferent towards God. the Bible warns that in the last days, people will become more and more selfish and less thankful to God. In 2 Timothy 3:1-2 it reads, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times
shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy..." That verse goes on to say a lot, but one thing that it mentioned was that in the last days, people would become unthankful.
People don't acknowledge God anymore or give Him the credit He deserves as Creator of the universe. Scientists would rather believe that we evolved from monkeys than to be thankful to God for creating us. People are no longer thankful that Christ died on the cross for their sins. They feel that they can save themselves or make it to heaven on their own terms. when you stop being thankful to God, you have stepped into the realm of disobedience and rebellion. You may one day find that you have lost those very things that you took for granted!
now let's look at some Bible verses concerning being thankful. have you ever noticed that it is usually easier to have a heart that's happy and thankful when everything is going your way? For the most part, a person will usually say, "Praise the Lord" in the good times. But the Bible says that you are supposed to be thankful to God no matter what your circumstance is. We read in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." This verse is saying that God wants you to find something to be thankful about no matter what is going on in your life. So even though you are here at this institution away from your families, what can you still be thankful for? (Get answers from class.)
I would say you can be thankful that you are still living. You all know someone who didn't live to see
another day. (my own father even) You can be thankful that you are safe. You can be thankful that God is a forgiving God. And you should always remember that whatever you are going through is not going to last forever. Be thankful about that. And know that God didn't promise that you wouldn't go through tough times, but He did promise to be there with you in the tough times. Be thankful that God has not turned His back on you.
* But maybe that's not your problem. Maybe you stick close to God when things are going bad. Maybe it's when things are going good that you forget to tell God "thank you." Sometimes it is not until we have no where else to turn that we reach out to God. And that's okay. God is always there, waiting to help. But how are you going to act once your prayers are answered? Are you going to forget that God was always there for you and walk away
from Him without a word? Let's read a short story of some men who did just that.
Luke 17:11-14 reads, "And it came to pass, as he (speaking of Jesus) went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: and they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed." (I took this from shine today)
So we see these ten men were in trouble. They were down and out and diseased. Their faith and, also, their need led them to seek out Jesus. They were just like us. When we are down and out, we turn to Jesus to help us. And Jesus had compassion
on them and cleansed them and took away their leprosy and made them whole. He then told them to go show themselves to the priests so that they could rejoin the citizens of that country. But let's see if these men thanked Jesus after He answered their cries for help.
Luke 17:15-19, "And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole."
We have here ten men who had much to be thankful to Jesus for. But after they got through the
hard time and were healed, only one returned and told Jesus thanks. What about you? When you receive a blessing or answered prayer from the Lord, will you be like the nine who never came back to tell Jesus thank you, or are you going to be like the one who fell at Christ's feet? How do you think that made Christ feel when only one man out of ten bothered to come back to say thank you?
God wants you to be thankful because He knows that your thankfulness will keep you close to Him. There is story after story in the Bible of people who had reasons to be thankful to God. Some of them remained thankful and walked with the Lord and God used them in great ways. Then there are others who were not thankful to God and ended up missing out on what God had in store for them. We should have an attitude like King David when he said, "Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded
me with gladness; to the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever." (Psalm 30:1112)
Now, maybe you are sitting there thinking, "Well, I say thank you to God in my prayers every day." Well, that's great, but being thankful to God should show itself in actions as well as words.
One of the first things that comes to mind is that God gave us life. I think that we even take that for granted sometimes. When is the last time you thanked God for creating you? We can thank God for giving us life in a lot of different ways. We can thank Him by taking care of our bodies -- by eating right and exercising and not doing things that we know are medically harmful to our bodies and
minds, for example, smoking cigarettes or weed or drinking alcohol. I Corinthians 3:16 reads "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in youShow God thanks by valuing and treating with respect your body.
Another way we can thank God for giving us life is by valuing the lives of others. People nowadays don't value life. Murders happen every day. Babies are aborted every day. Life has become disposable. But Jeremiah 1:5 tells us that all life is valuable to God. It reads "Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee..." God knew all of us before we were even born. We are all precious in God's sight and made for a purpose. And if you are thankful for your life, you should also value the lives of the other people that God made.
Don't be like those nine lepers who only came to God when they wanted something and then He never heard from them again. Show God how thankful you are through your actions as well as your words. Remember to be thankful not only during the Thanksgiving holiday, but every day.