Discipleship series #9
A disciple has a thankful heart.
By Pastor George Lehman
The worship most acceptable to God, comes from a thankful and cheerful heart.
It takes a lot to discourage and demotivate a thankful cheerful heart.
A mother was reading from a book of Bible stories to her little daughter Lucy when she came to a page showing Christians being fed to the lions. The little girl began to whimper. Mom said “It’s all right honey, I’m sure they’re all going to heaven.” The little girl answered, “But Mommy, that little lion in the corner doesn’t have a Christian!”
I think it’s safe to say that Lucy missed the point.
Hope you don’t miss the point of this sermon
Colossians 2:7 (Amp) – Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.
Hebrews 12:28 (Msg) – Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how THANKFUL we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander.
Pride slays thanksgiving, but a humble mind is the soil out of which THANKS naturally grows. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.
It’s one’s attitude that determines whether life unfolds into a place of; blessedness or wretchedness [armsaligheid / ellendigheid].
It really depends on your perspective. Looking at a rose bush, some complain that roses have thorns. Others rejoice that thorns come with roses.
The optimist says, “the cup is half full”.
The pessimist says, “the cup is half empty”.
The child of God says, “my cup runneth over”. – Go for it!!
This is the only life you will have before you enter eternity. If you want to find joy, you must first find thankfulness.
NO thanks no Joy – Know thanks Know Joy.
The truth is the one who is thankful for even a little, enjoys much.
The unthankful, unappreciative soul is always miserable, always complaining, never satisfied. This kind of person lives outside the shelter of the most high.
Perhaps the worst enemy we have is not the devil but our own tongue. It’s what we allow to come out our mouths, just check yourself!
James 3:6 (LB) – And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness, and poisons every part of the body. And the tongue is set on fire by hell itself, and can turn our whole lives into a blazing flame of destruction and disaster.
Maybe that’s why so many Christians are so weak and miserable and a pain to be around?
Paul expands this thought:
1 Corinthians 10:9-10 (Amp) – We should not tempt the Lord [try His patience, become a trial to Him, critically appraise Him, and exploit His goodness] as some of them did and were killed by poisonous serpents; Nor discontentedly complain as some of them did and were put out of the way entirely by the destroyer (death).
Assess the performance
Take advantage of
Paul says the Jews grumbled and complained “… they were destroyed by the destroyer.”
The fact is, every time we open up to grumbling and complaining, the quality of our life is reduced proportionally.
A destroyer is bringing your life to ruin.
Don’t minimize the strength and cunning of this enemy.
Who is he:
Revelation 9:11 (Amp) – … the angel of the Abyss (of the bottomless pit). In Hebrew his name is Abaddon (destruction), but in Greek he is called Apollyon (destroyer).
John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Paul said the Jews were destroyed by this spirit.
NB!! In other words, when we are complaining or unthankful, we open the door to the destroyer and play into his hands.
Subtly and deceptively undetected we become this complaining, miserable grumbling person. CHECK YOUR WORDS!!!!
If you have nothing for which to be thankful – make up your mind that there’s truly something wrong with you.
So many Christians have become specialist in the ‘science of misery’.
They are experts who can, in a moment, give you all the wrongs and raw deals that circumstances, life and society have done to them.
I have never talked with one of these people who were happy, blessed or content about anything. They expect an imperfect world to treat them perfectly.
I do think: There are people who need special attention in this wounded world of ours.
But most of us simply need to repent of ingratitude [ondankbaarheid]. It’s the ingratitude itself that is keeping wounds alive. Wounds of un-forgiveness, bitterness and unkindness.
We need to forgive the wrongs of the past and become THANKFUL for what we have in the present. Living today, not yesterday or tomorrow.
It’s God’s will.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (Amp) – Thank [God] in (not “for” but “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].
The moment we become grateful we actually begin to ascend spiritually into the presence of God.
Psalm 100:2 (Amp) – Serve the Lord with gladness! Come before His presence with singing!
Psalm 100: 4-5 (Amp) – Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name! For the Lord is good; His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting, His faithfulness and truth endure to all generations.
We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent, dissatisfaction and discouragement. Do you want the enemy to leave your life begin to think thanks.
It does not matter what your circumstances are, the instant you begin to thank God, even though your situation has not changed … you begin to change!
The key that unlocks the gates of heaven is a THANKFUL heart. Entrance into the courts of God comes as you simply begin to praise the Lord.
Thanksgiving is the language of heaven and we had better start to learn it, if we are not to be mere dumb aliens there. Arther John
Ephesians 5:20 (Amp) – At all times and for everything giving thanks in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.
Mother Theresa told this story in an address to the National Prayer Breakfast in 1994:
One evening we went out, and we picked up four people from the street. And one of them was in a most terrible condition. I told the sisters, “You take care of the other three, I will take care of the one who looks worst.”
So I did for her all that my love could do. I put her in bed, and there was such a beautiful smile on her face.
She took hold of my hand as she said two words only: “THANK YOU”.
Then she died. I could not help but examine my conscience before her. And I asked: “What would I say if I were in her place? And my answer was very simple. I would have tried to draw a little attention to myself.
I would have said, “I am hungry, I am dying, I am in pain,” or something. But she gave me much more; she gave me her grateful love. And she died with a smile on her face. Gratitude brings a smile and becomes a gift.
Let’s recommit to God our thankfulness:
Blessed Lord, forgive me for being a complainer and grumbling.
Help me to offer to YOU the sacrifice of thanksgiving in all things.
By your grace, I will be a thankful disciple regardless of what my life seems to be.
Oh God draw me to Your heart in Jesus name.