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Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Hebrews 12:28

"Thankfulness Matters"

Message summary: Our thankfulness matters to God. For all of His blessings bestowed upon the human race but most of all let us be thankful for the spiritual blessings we have in Christ. We are children of the King! And that's the best of all and something we can all by faith share. Have you placed your faith in Christ today? Are you expressing thankfulness day by day?

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"He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked Him" (Luke 17:16).

ThankfulMany years ago there was a popular bumper sticker that asked, "Have you hugged your kid today?" It was intended to remind parents of the importance of showing affection to their children. But once I saw a bumper sticker that asked, "Have you thanked God today?" I believe that's a great question!

Ingratitude is one of the most dominant and universal sins in the human race. The Apostle Paul, in his panoramic view of human depravity in Romans 1 makes this statement, "They neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him" (Romans 1:21). Among the attitudes described in the last days Paul lists "ungrateful" in 2 Timothy 3:2.

In a verse dealing with common grace* Jesus taught that God is "kind to the ungrateful and wicked" (Luke 6:35). This can be observed as we note the outpouring of God's kindness upon a world that is overwhelmingly ungrateful.  The basic needs and blessings of life in air, water, food, favorable climate and so forth have been abundantly poured out even on the most ungrateful and wicked by a kind, benevolent God.

But thankfulness matters to God and Jesus used a real experience from a healing miracle to emphasize this. He had healed ten lepers but only one returned to thank Him. (Luke 17:11-19)

In response to this Jesus asked three questions.
1) "Were not all ten cleansed?
2) Where are the other nine?
3) Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"

As I read these questions I try to get a sense of the tone in our Lord's voice. It could be read with terse disbelief at such ingratitude. It could be read with anger. But I believe Jesus expressed a deep sadness as He asked these questions (for which He surely already knew the answers).

Luke 17:16I want to be like the one that returned. Picture the wonderful scene as this man "came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked Him--and he was a Samaritan." Although I've never had the physical affliction of leprosy I am aware of God's abundant blessings in so many areas of my life.

But most of all I'm thankful for the spiritual blessings I have in Christ, first and foremost I've been saved and I am a child of the King! That's the greatest blessing of all and something we can all by faith share with others. Have you placed your faith in Christ today? Are you expressing thankfulness day by day? Thankfulness matters to God!

Thank You Jesus for the blood applied
Thank You Jesus, it has washed me white
Thank You Jesus, You have saved my life
Brought me from the darkness into glorious light

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I want to express my gratitude for all the marvelous blessings I enjoy daily. You abundantly supply me with so many gracious blessings that I don't even give thought to the majority of them. I thank You not only for what You've done for me but what You've done in me. You transformed a life that was lost. You turned my sorrow into joy. You exchanged my sin for grace. You replaced my condemnation with forgiveness. In thanksgiving may I be a person of thanksliving; living daily with a heart of thanks for Your immeasurable and inexhaustible goodness to me each new day.

* Common grace includes all the undeserved blessings that natural man receives from the hand of God: rain, sun, prosperity, health, happiness, natural capacities and gifts, sin being restrained from complete dominion, etc. See this article.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Gratitude"  Video  Brandon Lake 

"Thank You Jesus For The Blood"  Video  Charity Gayle

"Psalm 24"  Video  This is the version the choir and orchestra from our church presented this last Sunday.  (Note: the volume is low in the beginning)

"Child Of The King"  Video   Gaither Vocal Band We will be going to a concert with the Vocal band and other Gaither friends on December 1 at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA

"I Got Saved"  Video  Selah

Special Thanksgiving Resources

As we have for many years we want to offer these resources to families and church leaders to enrich the spiritual impact of the Thanksgiving holiday. We will leave these resources up till Thanksgiving Day.

Thorns"Thankful For The Thorns": A family reading and exercise that is a wonderful way to give a thoughtful focus around your Thanksgiving Table. The Thanksgiving celebration typically includes family coming together for a huge meal and hopefully a heartfelt prayer of thankfulness. However it can often be difficult to have a spiritually oriented conversation. Why not add some stimulating discussion about the ways God has worked in your life over the past year! Some of you are not in charge and are only visitors at your Thanksgiving gathering, but if it is possible share together around the table the theme of "Thankful for the Thorns" 
(printable webpage).

"A Thanksgiving family exercise" (pdf). We have used this questionnaire as a stimulus for discussion among family members in the past in our home. We encourage you to share results around the table at Thanksgiving before or after the meal.

A Thanksgiving prayer: Written by Joe Sherer, a pastor friend of ours and shared as the benediction at our community Thanksgiving Eve service several years ago. (printable webpage) For those who enjoy written prayers this would be a beautiful prayer to read together at the Thanksgiving table.

A Thanksgiving Scripture reading: 
A selection of Old and New Testament readings dealing with thankfulness appropriate for church, family and personal readings. (pdf) (Suitable for printing out and copying.)

Weber couple photo 7/3/22
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Thank you,

Stephen & Brooksyne

Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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