Harvest2The Gathering/ Pastor Barry        GIVE THANKS part 1 of 3                                                     To hear this message go to 

The Thankful Are Wise Romans 1:21-22

As we concluded our Soul On Fire Series I admonished you to “Fear the Lord…for it is the   beginning of wisdom. (Proverbs 9:10-12).  If fear is the beginning of wisdom then Thankfulness is the activity of wisdom.  In other words if you are thankful to God and are expressive of that thanks then you are wise. The Apostle Paul gave a strong warning to those who are not thankful to God (Romans 1:18-32).  The progression of a fool leads to condemnation and it all begins with not glorifying God or giving thanks to him (Romans 1:21-22)

Have you ever done something thoughtful or kind for someone and were acknowledged in no way at all, or worse yet treated with contempt for your kindness?  Of course we do not give something to someone only to be praised; however, it certainly knocks the joy of giving down a notch when there is no acknowledgement.  In time of course, we will simply find another place to give, but God isn’t like that.  He continues to give that we might eventually respond with a thankful heart.  When a person does not express thanks for what they should be grateful for darkness sets in, self-centeredness rules the heart and the mind becomes depraved (Romans 1:28). God’s kindness is intended to lead a person to repentance but because of stubbornness and unrepentance a fool stores up wrath against themselves (Romans 2:4b-5a). 

Forget Not Psalm 103:1-5 

King David reminded himself (“my soul”) and his listeners to “praise the Lord and forget not all of his benefits”.  David then names just a few of those benefits:

He forgives our sins:  John 1:12-13, Romans 3:23-24, 5:8

He heals all of our diseases:  Isaiah 53:5, Revelation 21;3-5

He redeems our life from the pit ( from shachat (corruption, pit, grave) :                     2 Corinthians 5:17, 2 Corinthians 1:10, John 8:32

He crowns us with love and compassion: 1 John 4:7-9, Ephesians 5:2, Ezekiel 36:26

He satisfies our desires with good things: Matthew 6:33, Psalms 37:3-5

He renews our youth like the eagle: Isaiah 40:28-31, John 11:25-26

Despite the trials and tribulations of this life, these are six blessings that God gives to every one of his children.  These blessings begin when we accept Christ into our lives and carry on into eternity.  We must, like David, remind ourselves of these benefits daily and give God praise. 

Be Thankful! Colossians 3:15-17, Matthew 5:14-16

When we live in thankfulness to God, not forgetting his benefits, we live and act differently than those who do not know Christ.  When we appreciate the fact that God has chosen us to be his own and that he dearly loves us and has set us apart for himself, then we can be more compassionate to others.  We can be kinder, walk in humility and be more gentle and patient with others.  We can be forgiving because we appreciate that the Lord has forgiven us.  We can put on love because he first loved us (1 John 4:10). 

Remember that time you first fell in love.  You were spellbound and nothing could ruin your joy —then reality set in and you were miserable all the time!  But wait!  Misery came when you realized that human love breaks promises, acts unbecomingly and behaves selfishly, but this is not God’s love. We can truly thank God because he is never changing, and his promises are forever true.  We can be thankful and live with a heart of gratitude because God is always good to us–in good times and in bad times.  He has promised to go with us down every path. He will never leave us or forsake us. 

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

The Apostle Paul admonished us as believers to be thankful and let this message of Christ live in us.  His peace will be with us as we live in gratitude to him.  Then we will truly live as a light in a dark world (Matthew 5:16). We can only do this with an attitude of gratitude. 

Tell It! Psalm 9:1, Isaiah 40:28-31

King David wrote songs of praise and sang out his thanks to the Lord.  These songs were often used to lead his people in praise to God.  Praise is contagious!  We too are to tell others of God’s “wonderful deeds”.  We are called to sing his praises.  We are not to be quiet about our faith and love for Jesus.  We are to proclaim his praise.  We are to spread it around like seed in a barren field.

If you appreciate your salvation then make it known and share the way to be saved with others.  If you have been healed of a disease or an infirmity then speak about it and give glory to God!  If your life has been redeemed from the pit then let’s hear an amen and a hallelujah!  Reach out your hand to those still in that pit and let them know how blessed it is on the other side!  Is Jesus growing your love and compassion?  If you are not growing in these areas then you are not living in thanksgiving to God.  Praise the Lord and forget not his benefits!  Stop whining about what you don’t have. Open your mouth and give thanks for the abundant blessings the Lord has poured out in your life.  

Is Jesus satisfying you with good things?  Then somebody testify!  Are your desires for good things? Then rejoice in the new mind Christ has given you.  If your desires are still caught up in sin then thank God that he still strives with you.  Seek his forgiveness and let him renew you and give you wings like an eagle to pull you out of that darkness.

No matter what your circumstance is give glory to God. “Tell it!”  Praise him, thank him, forget not his benefits!  Those benefits are all around you like the wind pulling the eagle far above the cares of the world below.  God renews us when we give him praise.  As usual with the Lord, even our praise to him comes back as fuel to our spirits. “Those who hope in the Lord” will praise him too.  They will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.”

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